What I listened to today

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RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:29 pm


On Tuesday, 30 January, 2018, I listened to 3 CDs.
 
 

1) Tr. 1-11, Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75): Sym. 14, Op. 146 for soprano, bass, strings, and percussion (46'26)--rec. 6 OCT 1969 |Tr. 12-15, Moishe Vainberg (1919-96): Sinfonietta 2 in A Minor, Op. 74 for string orchestra and timpani (16'00)--rec. 7 MAR 1967--Galina Vishnevskaya, soprano (Shost), Mark Reshetin, bass (Shost), Rudolf Barshai, cond., Moscow Chamber Orch. CD 7 of a 10 CD Brilliant survey of the work of Barshai and the Moscow Chamber Orch, under exclusive license from Gostelrdiofund, Russian Federation.

 
These are brilliant performances, representing some of the best work of this ensemble.
 
 
2) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): Tr. 1-4, Sym. 70 in D Major (17'10) |Tr. 5-8, Sym. 71 in B Flat Major (22'30) |Tr. 9-12, Sym. 72 in D Major (18'45)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch. Rec. 1997-8 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. CD 21 of a 33 CD Brilliant set of all the Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.
 
These are all excellent performances. Sym. 72 is one of my special loves. It is my favorite Haydn symphony before the Paris set. Actaully, it is seriously out of order' it was really somewhere around his 35th symphony, but the exigencies of pubilishing gave it the number 72. Its outer movements especially just make me want to get up and dance or swing my arms around like a conductor keeping the beat. The first movement has a military beat to it and the last movement, in the form of a theme and 6 variations, has some truly lovely, lilting melodies to it that will make your heart sing.
 
 
3) Tr. 1-3, W.A. Mozart (1756-91): Piano Concerto 23 in A Major, K. 488 (24'45)--Boyd Neel, cond.--rec. 12 DEC 1945 Kingsway Hall, London |Tr. 4-8, Johannes Brahms ( 1833-97): Piano Concert 1 in D Minor, Op. 15 (46'33)-Enrique Jorda, cond.--rec. 5 Jun 1946, Kingsway Hall, London. Clifford Curzon, piano (both), National Sym. Orch. (both)--CD 6 of a 23 CD + 1 DVD set of Clifford Curzon's complete recordings for DECCA.
 
The Mozart is truly phenomenal. Curzon's passagework in the last movement is simply awesomely amazing. The Brahms is a different matter for me. Everyone whose opinion I respect tells me its one of the great concerti. I just have never been able to see much in it. Its just one of my blind spots, I guess. One thing is sure--its my fault, not Brahms's!
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:44 pm


On Thursday, 1 February, 2018, I listened to 5 CDs.
 
 
1) Easley Blackwood, Jr. (b. 1932): Tr. 1-3, String Qyartet 1, Op. 4 (1957) (16'02) |Tr. 4-6, String Quartet 2, Op. 6 (1959) (18'50) |Tr. 7-10, String Quartet 3, Op. 42 (1998) (27'54)--Pacifica Quartet (Simin Ganatra & Kyu-Young Kim, violins, Kathryn Lockwood, viola, Brandon Vamos, cello)--rec. 24-25 SEP 1998, 6 APR & 28 MAY 1999 @ WFMT Studio, Chicago, IL.--A Cedille Records CD.
 
The first two quartets are atonal, influenced, as the composer-written liner notes say, by Bartok, Hindemith, and Berg. The last was written ten for fifteen years after he had abandoned atonality, and is a much more approachable work than the first two.
 
 
2) Robert Schumann (1810-56): Tr. 1-5, Faschingsschwank aus Wien (Carnival Jest from Vienna), Op 26 (19'30) |Tr. 6-14, Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), Op. 82 (21'24) |Tr. 15-18, Piano onata in F Minor, Op. 14 (28'45)--Aldo Ciccolini, piano--rec. 3/2002. CD 4 in a 7 CD Cascavelle set of music by Robert Schumann published in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth.
 
These are not works which appeal to me a lot, so I am not adept at making comparisons between these and other performances. My favorite Schumann solo piano work is Kinderszenen, but that is not included in this set. But these are certainly fleet, virtuoso performances by a world class pianist.
 
 

3) Nikolai Miaskovsky (1881-1950): Tr. 1-2, Sym. 7 in B Minor, Op. 24 (23'44) |Tr.3-6, Sym. 8 in A Major, Op. 26 (52'09)--Evgeny Svetlanov, cond., Russian Federation State Sym. Orch. CD 4 of a 16 CD Brilliant set of all the Miaskovsky symphonies. Rec. 1993-97 in the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.

 
 
4) W.A. Mozart (1756-91): Requiem in D Minor, K. 626 (Sussmayr version) (52'01)--Christian Thielmann, cond., Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian RSO Chorus, Sibylla Rubens, soprano, Lioba Brown, mezzo-soprano, Steve Davislim, tenor, Georg Zeppenfeld, bass. |Rec. live 2/2006 Munich, Philharmonie im Gasteig. DGG CD.
 
This is an excellent performance of the Sussmayr version--no compromises, full symphony orchestra, if that's your thing.
 
 

5) Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75): Tr. 1-4, Chamber Symphony, Op. 118a (arr. Barshai) (22'33) |Tr. 5-6, Prelude & Fuge 20 in C Minor, Op. 87 (7'53) |Tr. 7, Prelude in F Sharp Minor, Op. 87 #8 (1'31) |Tr. 8-12, Jaan Rääts (born 15 October 1932 in Tartu, Estonia): Concerto for chamber orchestra No. 1, Op. 16 (1961) (12'58) |Tr. 13-18, Boris Tchaikovsky (1925-96): Chamber Symphony (1967) (20'58)--Rudolf Barshai, cond., Moscow Chamber Orch. Rec. 7 MAR 1967 (1-4). 22 NOV 1960 (5-6), 3 DEC 1960 (7), 14 OCT 1963 (8-12), 27 OCT 1967 (13-18). CD 8 of a 10 CD Brilliant set of work by these forces. Licensed from Gostelradiofund, Russian Federation.

 
The so-called Shostakovch Chamber Symphony, Op. 118a is actually an arrangement by Barshai of the String Quartet 10. Boris Tchaikovsky is not related to P. I. Tchaikovsky. These are all interesting, but lesser works. The Rääts concerto is the most interesting of them.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:08 pm


On Groundhog Day, 2018, I listened to 6 CDs.
 
 
1-2) Vincent Persichetti (1915-87): Complete Piano Sonatas--Geoffrey Burleson, piano--rec. 2005-7 @ Patrych Sound Studios, NYC. A 2 CD New World Records set.--CD 1--Tr. 1-4, PS 1, Op. 3 (1939) (16'08) |Tr. 5-8, PS 2, Op. 6 (1939) (10'01) |Tr. 9-11, PS 3, Op. 22 (1943) (13'12) |Tr. 12-14, PS 4, Op. 36 (17'47) |Tr. 15-17, PS 5, Op. 37 (1949) (8'44) |Tr. 18-21, PS 6, Op. 39 (1950) (11'25) |||CD 2--Tr. 1-3, PS 7, Op. 40 (1950) (5'55) |Tr. 4-6, PS 8, Op. 41 (1950) (6'37) |Tr. 7-10, PS 9, Op. 58 (1952) (8'53) |Tr. 11-14, PS 10, Op. 67 (1955) (21'37) |Tr. 15-19, PS 11, Op. 101 (1965) (17'14) |Tr. 20-23, PS 12, Op. 145 "Mirror Sonata" (1982) (11'37).
 
Geoffrey Burleson not only performed these sonatas with enviable virtuosity, he wrote the very impressive and scholarly 8 1/2 pages of liner notes about them. This is a wonderful production through and through. The jewel case is sturdy, the spindles that hold the CD in the box have just the right degree of tension, and it is easy to get to the other side of the jewel case without breaking the box. In sum, it is a work of art all the way around.
 
I am not sure what I think of Pershichetti's music. I can say for certain he is usually at his most lyrical and approachable in his slow movements.
 
 
3) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): Tr. 1-4, Sym. 73 in D Major "La Chasse" (19'30) |Tr. 5-8, Sym. 74 in E Flat Major (19'14) |Tr. 9-12, Sym. 75 in D Major (19'12)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Humgarian Haydn Orch. Rec. 1997-8 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. This is CD 22 of a 33 CD Brilliant set of all the Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.
 
The project continues apace. Now, we are getting into some of the more mature symphonies. "La Chasse" is especially esciting, and especially in the fourth and last movement.
 
 
4) CD 7 in a set of 23 + 1 DVD of pianist Clifford Curzon's complete recordings for DECCA |Tr. 1-3, P.I. Tchaikovsky (1840-93): Piano Concerto 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 23 (34'46)--Georg Solti, cond., Winer Philharmoniker--rec. in Sofiensaal, Vienna, 14-17 OCT 1958 |Tr. 4-6, Sergei Rachmaninov (1872-1943): Piano Concerto 2 in C Minor, Op. 18 (34'05)--Adrian Boult, cond., London Philharmonic Orch.--rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 27-29 JUN & 15 DEC 1955.
 
This CD is a real winner all the way around. These are among the finest recordings ever made of each of these works. Solti's broad, bold, and ballsy approach to the Tchaikovsky is matched by Curzon's pianism. The Rachmaniov, in glorious monaural sound, is as empathetic a performance as you will ever hear--truly remarkable for a couple of Brits. Its not only one of Curzon's best, but also one of Boult's as well.
 
 
5) S. Prokofiev (1891-1953): Tr. 1-3, String Quartet 1 in B Minor, Op. 50 (25'00) |Tr. 4-6, String Quartet 2 in F Major, Op. 92 (22'20) |Tr. 7, Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34 (9'22)--The Coull String Quartet (Roger Coull & Philip Gallaway, violins, David Curtis, viola, John Todd, cello) + Angela Malsbury, clarinet & David Pruitt, piano, in the Overture.--Rec. 30 SEP, 1, 2 OCT 1991. A helios CD.
 
Helios, of course, meets its usual high standard of excellence with this recording.These are wonderful performances. I have the recordings of the quartets by the American Quartet, but here we have the added attraction of this wonderful little Overture.
 
 

6) Robert Schumann (1810-56): 22 Songs--Tr. 1, Widmung, Op.25 No.1 (2'23) |Tr. 2, Schneeglockchen, Op.79, No.26 (1'35) |Tr.3, Volksliedchen, Op.51, No.2 (1'23) |Tr. 4, Jasminenstrauch, Op.27, No.4 (1'03) |Tr. 5, Lied Der Braut, Op.25, No.12 (1'23) |Tr. 6, O Ihr Herren, Op.37 No.3 (0'54) |Tr 7, Aus Den Ostlichen Rosen, Op.25, No.25 (2'06) |Tr.8, Der Himmel Hat Eie Trane Geweint, Op.37, No.1 (2'34) |Tr. 9, Mein Schoner Stern, Op.101, No.4 (2'47) |Tr. 10, Zum Schluess, Op.25, No.26 (4'38) |Tr. 11, Aus Den Hebraischen Gesangen, Op.25, No.15 (4'38) |Tr. 12, An Den Mond, Op.95, No.2 (2'25) |Tr.13, Du Bist Wie Eine Blume, Op.25, No.24 (1'47) |Tr.14, Dein Angesicht, Op.127, No.2 (2'31).

Frauenliebe Und Leben Op.42 song cycle (23'33): |Tr. 15, Seit Ich Ihn Gesehen (2'28) |Tr. 16, Der Herrlichste Von Allen (3'48) |Tr. 17, Ich Kann's Nicht Fassen, Nicht Glauben (1'48) |Tr. 18, Du Ring An Meinem Finger (2'57) |Tr. 19, Helft Mir, Ihr Schwestern (2'11) |Tr. 20, Susser Freund, Du Blickest (2'47) |Tr.21, An Meinem Herzen, An Meiner Brust (1'30) |Tr. 22, Nun Hast Du Mir Den Ersten Schmerz Getan (4'04)--Edith Weins, soprano, Rudolf Jansen, piano. Rec. 12/1992--CD 5 of a 7 CD Cascavelle set published in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth.
 
Edith Wiens has a clear, piercing (in the best sense of the term) soprano voice, and Rudolf Jansen is an able accompanist. These are excellent performances.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

david johnson
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by david johnson » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:50 am

Arvo Paart: Sym 1 - 3/N Jarvi/Bamberg Sym Orch/Bis

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:02 am


On Saturday, 3 February 2018, I listened to 3 CDs.
 
 
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959): The Complete Solo Guitar Works--Tr. 1-12, Twelve Etudes (1928) (12'21) |Tr. 13-17, Five Preludes (1940) )17'46) |Tr. 18, Choros # 1 (1920) (4'33) |Tr. 19-23, Suite Populaire Bresilienne (1908-12) (21'26)--David Leisner, guitar. No data on recording dates or venue. This is an Azica CD published in the year 2000.
 
These are excellent performances well recorded. Recommended.
 
 
Nicolai Miaskovsky (1881-1950): Tr. 1-4, Symphony 3 in D Major, Op. 18 (43'45) |Tr. 5-7, Symphony 12 in G Minor, Op. 35 (32'26)--Evgeny Svetlanov, cond., Russian Federation Sym. Orch. Rec. in the Great Room of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow 1991-3. CD 5 of a 16 CD Warner set of Miaskovsky's complete symphonies + a number of other orchestral works.
 
 
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943): Tr. 1-15, All Night Vigil, Op. 36 (1915) (65'40)--Georgi Robev, cond., Svetoslave Obretenov Bulgarian National Choir. Soloists: N Peneva (tr. 2), T. Grigorov-Teres (Trs. 4,5, & 9). A SOUND CD, Licensed from Balkanton. No information on recording dates or venues.
 
Pretty shoddy documentation here, but this is an excellent performance and recording. Recommended.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:34 am


On Super Bowl Sunday, 2018, I listened to only one CD.
 
 

CD 9 of a 10 CD Brilliant set of Rudolf Barshai's recordings with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. |Tr. 1-15, Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953): Visions fugitives, Op. 22 (1915-17) (orchestrated by Barshai) (15'07) |Tr. 16, Fairy Tale, Op. 65 # 3 (2'10) |Tr. 17-19, Mikhail Meerovich (1920-93): Serenade for Chamber Orch. (10'25) |Tr. 20, Karen Khachaturian (1920-2011): Cello Sonata: Aria: Andante (5'20) |Tr. 21-28, Aleksandr Lazarevich Lokshin


(1920-87): Symphony 7 on ancient Japanese verses (20'10)--Nina Grigorieva, contralto.--Rec. 7 MAR 1967 (Tr. 1-15, 17-20), 27 NOV 1959 (Tr. 16), 1974 (Tr. 21-28). Licensed from Gostelradiofund, Russian Federation.
 

Visions fugitives is a piano piece orchestrated by Barshai. Mikhail Meerovich is a composer so obscure no Wikipedia article exists on him, only a Wikidata page, so I can't tell you much about him except what is in the liner notes here. He is known mostly for his film scores, though he did a handful of works in other forms, such as the one recorded here. Karen Khachaturian was a nephew of Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian. Aleksandr Lokshin suffered more than most under Communist governments for a number of reasons--he came from an allegedly bourgeois background (his father owned a small farm-HORRORS!), and he held views and wrote music that was at odds with Communist ideology, including poems by Baudelaire. It is worth reading the Wikipedia article on him. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Lokshin In any event, I found this symphony quite affecting. I hope some enterprising record company takes up the cudgels for his cause and records more of his music.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:50 pm


On Monday, 5 February 2018, I listened to 4 CDs.
 
 
1) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): Tr. 1-4, Sym. 76 in E Flat Major (20'42) |Tr. 5-8, Sym. 77 in B Flat Major (17'58) |Tr. 9-12, Sym. 78 in C Minor (19'34)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch. Rec. 1998 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. This is CD 23 of a 33 CD Brilliant Records set of the complete Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.
 
These are excellent performances, of a piece with the others in this series.
 
 
2) CD 8 in the 23 CD + 1 DVD set of the complete Clifford Curzon recordings for DECCA. |Tr. 1-3, Edvard Grieg (1843-1907): Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16 (29'12)--Oivin Fjelstad, cond., London Sym. Orch., rec. 22-23 JUN 1959 Kingsway Hall, London. STEREO |Tr. 4-7, Johannes Brahms (1833-97): Piano Concerto 2 in B Flat Major, Op. 83 (48'21)--Hans Knappertsbusch, cond., Wiener Philharmoniker, rec. 21-24 OCT 1957 Sofiensaal, Vienna. MONO.
 
Apparently, a stereo recording of the Brahms was made, but was lost somewhere along the line. A fake stereo recording was issued, but they went back to the original mono version for this issue.
These are superb recordings, especially the Grieg. This is among ArchivMusic's recommended recordings for the Grieg concerto. Although it has been recorded many times by many excellent pianists, competition is much stronger in the Brahms work. My personal favorites are the Richter, Leinsdorf, Chicago Symphony recording, which is on a lot of favorites list. The two conducted by George Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra with Leon Fleisher and Rudolf Serkin respectively, are both excellent, but I suppose my second choice, after the Richter/Leinsdorf would be the Pollini/Abbado recording with the Wiener Phil.
 
 
3-4) Robert Schumann (1810-56): Das Paradies und die Peri, Op. 50: Oratorium for soloists, choir, and orchestra (95'48)--Armin Jordan, cond., Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Choeur de Chambre Romand, Choeur Pro Arte de Lauanne, Edith Weins, soprano (La Peri), Sylvia Herman, soprano (The Maiden), Ann Gjevang, alto (The Angel), Robert Gambill, tenor (solo), Christophe Pregardien, tenor (The Youth), Hans-Petert Scheidegger, bass (Gazna).--Rec. 10/1988. CD 6 & 7 of a 7 CD Cascavelle Records set of performances of music by Robert Schumann issued 2010 in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth.
 
You may remember a while back I reviewed the Carlo Maria Giulini recording of this work. Here is the information about this work I submitted with that review:

So, what is the story about? From Wikipedia: The work is based on a German translation (by Schumann and his friend Emil Flechsig) of a tale from Lalla-Rookh by Thomas Moore. The peri, a creature from Persian mythology, is the focus of the story, having been expelled from Paradise and trying to regain entrance by giving the gift that is most dear to heaven. Eventually the peri is admitted after bringing a tear from the cheek of a repentant old sinner who has seen a child praying.

I have done some additional reading on this and found out that other composers, including a Friederich Burgmuller (NOT Norbert Burgmuller) and French composer Paul Dukas have written stories on this legend. In one variation of the legend, the Peri is not a fallen angel, but the offspring of a fallen angel and a human. Other writers' and composers' Peris may be of this latter type.


Although this work is seldom performed in concert, it is well represented on records. In fact, I went to Amazon.com and put several other recordings of the work on my wants list. More than just 2 or 3, including the present one, have gotten a great many 5 star reviews on Amazon.

I have to say I think this present performance is superior to the Giulini recording, mostly due to the fact that Jordan has a much better orchestra to work with the Giulini did; also, I think the solo performances are generally better here as well.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

david johnson
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by david johnson » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:53 am

Paderewski: Chopin Etudes, Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, etc. An anthology from RCA

Belle
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by Belle » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:28 am

Stephen Kovacevich playing the glorious "Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel", Op. 24 by Brahms. That fugue at the end and this pianist's performance of it; numinous.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9tbCkACbGU

Before that the Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D, played by Kissin. Tonight those two monumental piano pieces, which I've sent off to my doctor with whom I have become a good friend. He hasn't had much to do with art music (incredibly) and comes from Poland. I send him musical links and we exchange books. So far he's listened to Bach and Brahms; I've started at the 'heavy' end too!! We shall see....

jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:35 am

Image

https://archive.org/details/Fidelio

Jacquino: James Atherton, tenor
Marzelline: Roberta Peters, soprano
Rocco: Paul Plishka, bass
Leonore (Fidelio): Eva Marton, soprano
Don Pizarro: Franz Mazura, baritone
First Prisoner: Anthony Laciura, tenor
Second Prisoner: James Courtney, bass
Florestan: Jon Vickers, tenor
Don Fernando: John Cheek, bass

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus
Klaus Tennstedt, conductor
7 January, 1984

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:42 am


On Tuesday, 6 FEB 2018, I listened to 4 CDs.
 
 
1) Steve Reich (b. 6 OCT 1936): Tr. 1, Music for a Large Ensemble (12/78) (15'28) |Tr. 2, Violin Phase (10/67) (15'09) |Tr. 3, Octet (4'79) (17'29). Tr. 1 is scored for 4 marimbas, 2 xylophones, 1 vibraphone, 4 pianists including Reich himself, voices, violins, violas, cellos, basses, clarinets, & soprano saxophones in pairs, a flute, and 4 trumpets. Violin Phase is played by Shem Guibory. The octet consists of 2 pianos, 2 violins, a viola, a cello, and clarinets, bass clainets, flutes, and a piccolo played by Virgil Blackwell and Mort Silver. (TT: 48'30). An ECM Records CD.
 
Steve Reich, of course, is a minimalist composer. The music is tonal, and some of his tunes are rather catchy, but, as you know if you have any familiarity with minimalism, repetitive without much in the way of variation, which occurs only very slowly. Interesting, but not something I will return to again and again.
 
 

2-3) Carl Nielsen (1865-1931): Complete Piano Works. |CD 1--Tr. 1-5, Five Piano Pieces, Op. 3 (1890) (8'13) |Tr. 6-9, Symphonic Suite, Op. 8 (1892-4) (18'24) |Tr. 10-15, Huoresque-Bagatelles,Op. 11 (1894-7) (6'21) |Tr. 16, Festival Prelude for the New Century (1900) (1'18) |Tr. 17, A Dream about "Silent Night" (1905) (2'17) |Tr. 18, Chaconne, Op 32 (1916) 10'29) |Tr. 19, Theme & Variations, Op. 40 (1917) (18'28) |||CD 2-Tr. 1-6, Suite, Op. 45 (1919-20) (26'33) |Tr. 7-9, Three Piano Pieces, Op. 59 (1927-8) (12'03) |Tr. 10-34, Piano Music for young & old, Op. 53 (1929-30) (28'04) |Tr. 35, Piano Piece (1931) (0'34)--Christina Bjørkøe, piano. Rec. @ The Black Diamond, Copenhagen, 2-3 JUL & 21-22 AUG 2007. A 2 CD cpo recording.

 
 

Christina Bjørkøe was born 1970 in Copenhagen. She is on FB, but its all in Danish @ https://www.facebook.com/christinabjoerkoe but you can see she got some of her musical education @ Julliard. She is an adept and facile pianist who seems to plumb depths in Nielsen's music most of us probably never suspected, though I think that may be because his most famous works are orchestral ones and his most profound music is here and in his chamber music. Highly recommended.

 
 

4) N. Miaskovsky (1881-1950): Tr. 1-3, Sym. 4 in E Minor, Op. 17 (1918) (40'43) |Tr. 4-7, Sym. 15 in D minor, Op. 38 (1934) (36'31)--Evgeny Svetlanov, cond., Russian Federation Sym. Orch. Rec. 1991-3, this is CD 6 of a 16 CD Warner set of the complete symphonies + some other orchestral works by Miaskovsky by these forces.

 
These symphonies sound somewhat more substantial than previous discs in this series. I do still detect, though, especially in the Sym. 15, passages that sound like movie music about the lives of pioneers on the Great Plains, a sort of Little House on the Prairie or Wagon Train feel. When he is not waxing rhapsodic, he seems devoted to march like cadences.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

david johnson
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by david johnson » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:58 am

Weingartner: King Lear and Sym # 1/Letonjo/Basel Sym Orch

John F
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:33 am

Miaskovsky's Symphony #6 is my pick of the Miaskovsky I've heard. Indeed, I think it's a great work. But there are two different versions on records, one with a chorus in the last movement and the other with the choral parts played by the orchestra. Get the choral version! It's not just about texture, the texts really matter.
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:50 am


On Wednesday, 7 FEB 2018, I listened to 5 CDs.
 
 
1) Torsten Nilsson (1920-99): Complete Works for Soprano & Organ. Mona Julsrud, soprano, Bjorn Kare Moe, Marcussen organ of Oscar's Church, Stockholm |Tr. 1, Consolamini, consolamini, popule meus, Op. 16 (1965) (12'55) |Tr. 2-8, Ecce venit cum nubibus, Op. 35 (1970) (14'02) |Tr. 4, Signati ex gentibus, Op. 36 (1970) (10'56) |Tr. 10 Deuteroskopi for organ solo, Op. 46 (1971) (12'54) |Tr. 11, Lamento (from Nox Augustiae, Op. 22 (1968-72) (8'13) |Tr. 12-14, Tre koraler [3 Chorales], after a text by Anders Frostenson, Op. 44 (1972) (6'09) |Tr. 15, Vocatio Isaiae, Op. 69 (1976) (12'50). (TT: 79'30) BIS CD. No information on recording dates, but the CD was published 1999.
 
The following biographical sketch is not my own. It is an amalgam of information about the composer on the website of C Alan Publications, the publisher of his scores, and in the liner notes accompanying the CD, edited by yours truly.
Torsten Nilsson studied at the State Academy of Music, Stockholm (1938-42), graduating as a church musician and music teacher. He continued his studies, particularly in 12 tone techniques, with Anton Heiler in Vienna (composition and the organ, 1961 and 1965). As an organist he was also a pupil of Alf Linder. He was organist in KÅ¡ping (1943-53), of St. Mary's Church, Helsingborg, (1953-62), and was appointed organist of Oscar parish, Stockholm, in 1962, resigning from this appointment in 1982 over a dispute with the church council over thier letting the church for theatrical performances. He was also the director of the Oscar Motet Choir, formed after his appointment, but they decided to disband in solidarilty with him. He was Teacher of liturgical singing at Uppsala University (1966-70), and at the Stockholm Theological Institute (1964-70). He was also teacher of music theory at the Stockholm Citizens' School 1962-1973. He said in a television interview in 1/1992, "I have sought to present the message of Christianity, in a new way, that things should never stand still...The letter kills but the Spirit gives life."
 
All of these works were composed using twelve-tone techniques, but nevertheless seem to be much more approachable than most works in that style. Perhaps this is why Nilsson had such a wide following in his country, such that attendance at services @ Oscar's Church in Stockholm is known to have increased simply because congregants were attracted by the music.
 
 
2) CD 10 in the 10 CD Brilliant Records survey of conductor Rudolf Barshai's work with the Moscow Chamber Orch, except Tracks 1-4, which are with the Moscow Philharmonic Orch. |Tr. 1-4, Revol Bunin (1924-76): Symphony No. 3 (1957) (19'18)--rec. 1968-70 | Tr. 5, Concerto for chamber orchestra (1961) (15'53)--rec. 26 MAR 1962 |Tr. 6-8, Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971): Concerto in D for string orchestra "Basle" (1946) (11'05)--rec. 22 NOV 1960 |Tr. 9-11, Concerto in E-flat "Dumbarton Oaks" (1937-38) (16'12)--rec. 25 MAR 1974. Licensed from Gostelradiofund, Russian Federation.
 
Revol Bunin was an interesting fellow. His father was a committed communist revolutionary even before the Revolution, and, in fact, named his son Revol for the revolution. However, Revol himself found the subject distasteful and refused to join the party. He had lots of friends, though, including Shostakovich, whose student he was for 3 years; in the first of those years, he was Shostakovich's only student. A number of conductors championed his work, and he was especially good friends with Rudolf Barshai, the conductor here, for whom he wrote both a viola concerto and a viola sonata, as the viola was Barshai's instrument. During most of his career, he held positions at either conservatories in Leningrad and Moscow, and for the state music publishing house in Moscow, but in the crackdown after WWII, he was on the outs, and made his living ghost writing scores for others, mostly composers from minority republics that were part of the USSR. Several of of pseudonymous compositions won Stalin Prizes, but he was never awarded one in his own name. He left 45 major compositions, including nine symphonies, numerous sonatas, quartets, trios, an opera, romances and several concerti for piano and violin. He died of complications of asthma.
 
Concerto in D ("Basle") for string orchestra was composed in Hollywood between the beginning of 1946 and 8 August of the same year in response to a 1946 commission from Paul Sacher to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Basler Kammerorchester, (in English, Basel Chamber Orchestra), and for this reason is sometimes referred to as the "Basle" Concerto ("Basle" being the French form of the city's name). It was premiered on 27 January 1947 in Basel by the BKO, conducted by Paul Sacher. Other sources say it was six days earlier, on the day of the orchestra's twentieth anniversary, 21 January. The Concerto in D was the first composition Stravinsky created after becoming a naturalised American citizen on 28 December 1945.
 
The Concerto in E-flat "Dumbarton Oaks"(1937-38) is a chamber concerto by Igor Stravinsky, named for the Dumbarton Oaks estate of Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss, who commissioned it for their thirtieth wedding anniversary. Composed in Stravinsky's neo-classical period, the piece is one of Stravinsky's two chamber concertos (the other being the Concerto in D for strings, 1946), and is scored for a chamber orchestra--flute, soprano clarinet, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, three violins, three violas, two cellos, and two double basses. The three movements, Tempo giusto, Allegretto, and Con moto, performed without a break, total roughly twelve minutes. The concerto was heavily inspired by Bach's Brandenburg Concerti, and was the last work Stravinsky completed in Europe, started in spring 1937 . The commission had been brokered by Nadia Boulanger. She also conducted the May 8, 1938 private premiere in the music room at Dumbarton Oaks, while the composer was hospitalized with tuberculosis. The public premiere took place in Paris on June 4, 1938, with Stravinsky conducting.
 
 
3) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): Tr. 1-4, Sym. 79 in F Major (20'45) |Tr. 5-8, Sym. 80 in D Minoe (22'32) |Tr. 9-12, Sym. 81 in G Major (22'08)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch.--rec. 1998 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. CD 24 of a 33 CD Brilliant Records set of all the Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.
 
This is the last of the Haydn symphonies before we get into the ones that are really very popular and frequently recorded. I checked with ArchivMusic.com, and they list the following numbers: #79--9, #80-12, #81--11, #82-36, #83-37, #84-28. As you can see, the next 3 symphonies have about 3 times as many recordings apiece as the present ones.
 
 
4) CD 9 of the 23 CD + 1 DVD set of pianist Clifford Curzon's complete recordings for DECCA. This CD is devoted to Beethoven's last two piano concerti, both with Hans Knappertsbusch cond. Wiener Philharmoniker. |Tr. 1-3, Piano Concerto 4 in G Major, Op. 58 (33'45)--rec. Nusikverein, Viena, 4, 5 APR 1954 MONO |Tr. 4-6, Piano Concerto 5 in E Flat Major, Op. 73 "Emperor" (38'56)--rec. Sofiensaal, Vienna, 10-15 JUN 1957 (STEREO). (TT: 72'39)
 
These are very good recordings and very well engineered. They would not, however, be among my top ten choices for either of these works.
 
 
5) Alfred Schnittke (1934-98): Works for cello & piano--David Geringas, cello, Tatjana Geringas, piano. |Tr. 1, Epilogue from the ballet "Peer Gynt" (21'41) |Tr. 2-6, Cello Sonata 2 (14'53) |Tr. 7, Musica nostalgica (3'16) |Tr.8-10, Cello Sonata 1 (19'15). Rec. 1998-9 in Lubeck, Germany. A Profil CD. Profil is a Hanssler label.
 
Schnittke had an unusual background for someone who started off as a Soviet composer. His father was a German Jew who emigrated to the USSR in 1927, where he worked as a translator. His mother was a Catholic Volga German. In addition to that, after WWII, the family moved to Vienna for two years, where his father was a newspaper correspondent for the Soviet press. It was in this highly musical city that Alfred began his musical education. It became apparent he had a talent for it, and his education continued after the family returned to Moscow. He attended a conservatory there 1953-8, and by 1962 was teaching composition. He was often at odds with the ideological minders, as he adopted a style which he called his "polystylism," an eclectic approach to music which drew inspiration from a number of schools of thought about how music should go. He did, however, impress lots of composers and artists, esp. Gidon Kremer, Mstislav Rostropovich, David Geringas, the Lithuanian cellist performs on this CD. He was finally allowed to move to Germany in 1985, where he settled in Hamburg. He was in his later years in very poor health, and died 3 August 1998 as a result of his fifth stroke.
 
The First sonata was dedicated to cellist Natalia Gutman, the second for Rostropovich. The Epilogue for cello, piano, and choir with tape recording is Schnittke's own arrangement of the final section of his "Peer Gynt" ballet, and Mistica nostalgica was written in 1992 for Rostropovich, but the music is a reworking of a piece for his Suite in the Old Style for violin and piano that he had written before his health problems began, and so is happier than the other music here.
 
So what's next? Tomorrow, its on to starting on the 4 CD Paavo Berglund set of the Sibelius symphonies, some Schubert sonatas from Sviatoslav Richter, a symphony by Hanns Eisler, and a beginning of a Sony set of performances by Leopold Stokowski.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:46 am


On Thursday, 8 FEB 2018, I listened to 4 CDs.
 
 
1) Jean Sibelius (1865-1957): Tr. 1-4, Symphony 1 in E Minor, Op. 39 ( ) (39'00) |Tr. 5-8, Sym. 4 in A Minor, Op. 63 ( ) (37'22)--Paavo Berglund, cond., Bournemouth Sym. Orch.--Rec. 9-10 OCT 1974, Guildhall, Southampton (1), & 3-4 JUN 1975, Abbey Rd Studio 1, London--CD 1 of a 4 CD EMI set of the 7 symphonies + other assorted Sibeliana.
 
The little blurb at the top of the back of this CD box says the following: "When the Finnish conductor Paavo Berglund took charge of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1972, he brought with him the music of his compatriot, Jean Sibelius and taught them how to play it with an unhurried, controlled inevitability that allows the music to unfold in its own time without any loss of tension or excitement. Berglund made two more recorded versions of this uniquely terse and exacting symphonic cycle, but this first one has lost none of its direct powers of eloquence and expression."
 
 
2) Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Tr. 1-4, Piano Sonata 19 in C Minor, Op. posth. (D958) (31'56) |Tr. 5-8, Piano Sonata 21 in B Flat Major, Op. posth. (D960) (46'25)--Sviatoslav Richter, piano. A Regis CD, licensed from Olympia CD, London. Rec. 1972 (21) and 1973 (19) by Ariola Eurodisc.
 
What can I say? Its Richter. Need more be said?
 
 
3) N. Miaskovsky (1881-1950): Tr. 1-4, Sym. 17 in G# Minor, Op. 41 (47'45) (1937) |Tr. 5-7, Sym. 20 in E Major, Op. 50 (26'49) (1940)--Evgeny Svetlanov, cond., Russian Federation Sym. Orch. Rec. 1991-3, this is CD 7 of a 16 CD Warner set of the complete Miaskovsky symphonies + some other orchestral works by these forces.
 

The Sym. 17 was among many other works commissioned in 1937 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the October Revolution. It and most of the others, however, were put in the shadows by the greatest of the works--the Shostakovich 5th Symphony. See review @ https://www.allmusic.com/composition/sy ... 0002410652

 

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_ ... yaskovsky) for information re: Sym. 20.

 
 
4) Hanns Eisler (1898-1962): Deutsche Sinfonie, Op. 50 (1935-47) (62'10)--Eliahu Inbal, cond., Orchestre et Choeur de Philharmonique de Radio France, Sophie Koch, mezzo-soprano, Carolin Masur, alto, Eike Wilm Schulte, baritone, Kurt Rydl, bass, Jean-Louis Depoil & Pierre Roux, recitants--A naive CD, rec. live 19 NOV 2004, Paris.
 

Not to put too fine a point on it, this is flat out Commie agitprop music. You can get a good idea of what its about @ http://americansymphony.org/deutsche-si ... 0-1936-58/ and this performance of the work is online @ YouTube.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

jbuck919
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:02 am

RebLem wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:46 am


Not to put too fine a point on it, this is flat out Commie agitprop music. You can get a good idea of what its about @ http://americansymphony.org/deutsche-si ... 0-1936-58/ and this performance of the work is online @ YouTube.
So why are you wasting our time, Rob? BTW, if I have not pointed it out before, your signature is not a saying of the late dubious Cardinal George, though he might have quoted it. I assure you, I have known my share of American Cardinals, and none of them was a man of sufficient stature to originate such a saying.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:19 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:02 am
. . . is not a saying of the late dubious Cardinal George, though he might have quoted it. I assure you, I have known my share of American Cardinals, and none of them was a man of sufficient stature to originate such a saying.
Neither did the late cardinal originate this saying: "Speak no ill of the dead".

A balanced assessment of Cardinal George is here: https://cruxnow.com/church/2015/04/17/c ... nger-dies/

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:55 am

jserraglio wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:19 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:02 am
. . . is not a saying of the late dubious Cardinal George, though he might have quoted it. I assure you, I have known my share of American Cardinals, and none of them was a man of sufficient stature to originate such a saying.
Neither did the late cardinal originate this saying: "Speak no ill of the dead".

A balanced assessment of Cardinal George is here: https://cruxnow.com/church/2015/04/17/c ... nger-dies/
Yes, well I got "harmful website blocked," which I do not in this case intend to override. And considering de mortuis nil nisi bonum, whom have you never deservedly commented on negatively after his death?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:59 pm

Chicago Cardinal Francis George, the ‘American Ratzinger,’ Dies
John L. Allen Jr.
Apr 17, 2015

https://cruxnow.com/church/2015/04/17/c ... nger-dies/

During an era under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, when Catholicism was trying to swim against an increasingly secular tide in the Western world, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was the American prelate trusted by those two popes, almost above all others, to spearhead that project in the United States.

George, who stepped down in November 2014, died at 10:45 a.m. Friday at his residence in Chicago of a cancer that originated in his bladder but spread to other parts of his body, rendering treatment ineffective. He was 78.

He had been on home care since April 3 after being hospitalized for hydration and pain management issues, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Widely acknowledged as the most intellectually gifted senior US prelate of his generation, George was once dubbed the “American Ratzinger.”

Like German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI, George’s clear and strongly stated positions on issues such as abortion, contraception, and the Catholic liturgy could be either celebrated or reviled - and he drew both reactions, repeatedly - but they could never be ignored.

George’s abiding passion was the relationship between faith and culture, and especially the urgency of a “New Evangelization,” meaning a new missionary zeal in Catholicism.

After his appointment as archbishop of Chicago in 1997, and especially during his three-year term as president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2007 to 2010, George was the Vatican’s go-to figure in the United States and one of just a handful of American prelates whose reputation and influence reached around the Catholic world.

Among other aspects of his résumé, George will be remembered as the architect of the US bishops’ battles with the Obama administration over contraception and health care reform, and the leader who made religious freedom a signature concern for the bishops.

His legacy also will be tied to the child sexual abuse scandals in the American Church, both his championing of a “zero tolerance” policy and allegations that he failed to apply that policy himself in a high-profile Chicago case.

A rapid rise

Francis George was born in Chicago in 1937 and attended parochial school on the city’s Northwest Side. At age 13, he came down with polio, which left him with a limp and constant pain in his legs that would never go away.

Because of the ailment, he was rejected as a seminarian by the Archdiocese of Chicago and instead joined the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a religious order founded in France in the early 19th century. He studied theology in Ottawa and Washington, DC, and earned a doctorate in philosophy from Tulane University.

In the 1970s and 1980s, George held a series of leadership positions in his order, culminating in a 12-year run in Rome as the vicar general - the No. 2 official worldwide.

In that role, George came to know the inner workings of the Vatican and also developed a wide network of contacts in the global Church, both of which would serve him well in later assignments.

One of those friendships early in his career was with Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston, a friendship forged at a time before Law would be swept up in the Church’s sexual abuse scandals, when he was still at the height of his power and influence.

Many observers believe Law’s sponsorship explains how George was named bishop of Yakima, Washington, in 1990 at the young age of 53, shortly after his return to the United States when he was not yet well known on the American stage.

George would remain in Yakima for five and a half years, becoming involved on the national level as chair of a committee for bishops and scholars, and on the global level as a delegate to a 1994 Synod of Bishops in the Vatican on consecrated life.

George also was active in social justice issues, among other things helping Mexican farm workers organize a union in Yakima. He would later point to that aspect of his record, along with efforts on behalf of migrants, refugees, and the working poor, to rebut charges that he was indifferent to the Church’s social justice tradition.

In April 1996, George was appointed archbishop of Portland, Oregon. Although he wouldn’t hold the post long, he flashed an early signal of his resolve on Catholic identity by strenuously objecting to the tape recording of an inmate’s sacramental confession in a local jail.

A federal court later ruled the recording was unconstitutional.

In a sign of just how much George’s star was on the rise, he was named the eighth archbishop of Chicago on April 7, 1997, after serving in Portland for just one year.

George was fated to follow Chicago’s beloved Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, whose leadership on social issues such as economic justice and anti-nuclear advocacy made him popular both at the Catholic grassroots and in the media, and whose candor about his spiritual preparation for death significantly increased his moral standing.

Bernardin had come into office in 1982 describing himself to Chicagoans as “Joseph, your brother.” In a sign that George wouldn’t be quite the same heart-on-his-sleeve personality, he introduced himself in 1997 as “Francis, your neighbor.”

A lead actor in every drama

What George may have lacked in terms of a popular touch, he more than compensated for in brainpower. During the 1990s and 2000s, it was impossible to name a drama in American Catholic life in which George wasn’t a lead actor, often providing the intellectual basis for instincts other bishops might feel, but be unable to articulate.

He was a force in what were known as the “liturgy wars” in the 1990s, an effort to steer Catholic worship in a more traditional, reverent, and sober direction that was celebrated by many conservatives, but seen by liberals as a rollback of the reforming vision of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

George was a member of a special Vatican commission called “Vox Clara” that oversaw a new English translation of the Mass, featuring changes such as having the congregation respond “And with your Spirit” rather than “And also with you” when the priest says, “The Lord be with you.”

While seen as a cultural conservative, George took a moderate position throughout the 2000s on the vexed issue of whether Catholic politicians who supported abortion rights ought to be denied Communion.

In 2004, he said there’s a difference between moral teaching and political strategies, a comment that many American bishops cited at the time to defend staying out of the controversy.

When the sexual abuse scandals blew up in the US Church starting in 2002, George played a central role in framing the American response.

At a high-profile gathering of the US bishops in Dallas in 2002, George supported a “zero tolerance” policy, meaning that a priest would be removed from ministry for life following one credible accusation of abuse of a minor.

Because that policy implied a change to Church law, it had to be sent to Rome for approval. The initial response was negative, so George was tapped to lead an American delegation to meetings with Vatican officials to work out a compromise. Other American prelates looked to George for leadership because of his deep Rome experience and command of Italian.

In the end, the Vatican signed off on the policy for an experimental period, and under Benedict XVI, it became permanent.

George acknowledged in a November 2014 interview with Crux that in effect, he was the one who saved the zero tolerance policy.

“I don’t like to say that as if I’m blowing my own horn, but it’s correct,” he said.

George would later come under criticism for allegedly failing to follow the zero tolerance standard in the case of a former priest named Daniel McCormack, who was arrested on multiple accounts of abuse in 2006.

According to reports, George knew about the rumors in 2005, but did not remove McCormack from ministry.

George would later visit McCormack’s parish to apologize, but also insisted that what he had at the time was a notice from the police that they were questioning McCormack, not an actual allegation, and canonical procedures didn’t allow him to remove the cleric on that basis alone.

In Chicago, George emerged as a leader in interfaith relations, building especially close ties to the city’s Jewish community. He played a similar role internationally, in part because when he became a cardinal in 1998, he was assigned Rome’s Church of San Bartolomeo all’Isola, which is entrusted to the Community of Sant’Egidio and used by the group as a platform for ecumenical and inter-religious outreach. (Cardinals are assigned “titular” churches in Rome and environs, with which they maintain a loose patronal relationship.)

George authored two books as a cardinal, “The Difference God Makes: A Catholic Vision of Faith, Communion, and Culture” in 2009 and “God in Action: How Faith in God Can Address the Challenges of the World” in 2011. He also wrote a regular column for the archdiocesan newspaper in Chicago, the Catholic New World.

George and Obama

Perhaps the highest-profile moment in George’s career on the national stage began in 2007 when he was elected to lead the US bishops’ conference. It was something of a surprise, since in the past, the informal practice within the conference was not to elect cardinals as officers on the grounds they already had enough influence.

The outcome was read as a sign of the respect George enjoyed among his brother bishops, and also gratitude for the role he had played in representing them over the years in Rome.

As it happened, his term overlapped with the rise of another Chicagoan to high office - US President Barack Obama, who was elected to his first term in 2008.

Obama began gearing up to deliver on a campaign promise of health care reform almost immediately, and at first, George and the US bishops were supportive.

The bishops had been on record supporting universal access to health care since 1917, and were credited by American historians with helping to lay the foundation for an expanded social safety net launched under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the New Deal.

As it became clear, however, that Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would cover contraception, including some drugs the US bishops regard as abortion-inducing, George led the bishops into increasingly vocal opposition.

He framed the issue as one of religious freedom, insisting that faith-based groups should not be compelled to offer or pay for procedures that violate their religious beliefs.

Although the bishops’ stance has been criticized in some quarters for fueling America’s culture wars, George insisted in November 2014 that their concerns during his tenure as president have been vindicated.

“Everything the bishops said then has come true,” he claimed. “We said that the exchanges would be used as vehicles to get federal money into the direct funding of abortion, and they are. Go down the line … every criticism that we raised has turned out to be entirely true.”

“Legislators betrayed their own vocation, because they did not act for the common good,” George said.

As the battles over the contraception mandates wore on, some observers perceived that George became steadily more pessimistic about the broader drift of American society, almost seeming to prophesy a Church of the catacombs in the not-too-distant future - that is, one driven underground by increasing secularism.

That perception was set in cement in 2010, when during a talk to a group of priests that George believed was private, he took a question about the impact of mounting secularization.

Part of his response was captured on a smartphone and quickly went viral: “I expect to die in bed,” George said, “my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”

George would point out that the more upbeat conclusion of his response was omitted in most reports. After referring to the martyred bishop, he had immediately added: “His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”

He insisted his answer was intended as a consolation to some deeply worried priests, not a straight-line prediction of the future.

“You’d have to be an utter fool to say something like that as a statement about what’s going to happen next,” he said. “How the heck would I know?”

George also said that he never saw himself as a cultural warrior, pointing to, among other things, his defense of immigrant rights and his frequent insistence that “no Catholic can view the operation of our economy uncritically.”

Fundamentally, George saw himself as a friend of the culture rather than its enemy.

“I’ve seen myself for a long time as engaging culture,” he said. “Engagement is not warfare. I’m not trying to beat anybody up at all; I’m trying to proclaim the truth of the Gospel, which I have an obligation to do.”

George’s legacy

When the more center-left Archbishop Blase Cupich was appointed to succeed George in September 2014, many commentators took it as a course correction under Pope Francis, to some extent reflecting a desire to reposition the Church in the political center.

While rejecting that interpretation, George acknowledged there were some aspects of Francis’ emerging direction that left him puzzled.

For instance, George said he’d like to ask Francis if he fully grasped that in some quarters, he’d created the impression that Catholic doctrine is up for grabs. He specifically cited the pontiff’s famous line about gays, “Who am I to judge?”

That soundbite, George said, “has been very misused … because he was talking about someone who has already asked for mercy and been given absolution, whom he knows well,” George said. (Francis uttered the line in 2013, in response to a question about a Vatican cleric accused of gay relationships earlier in his career.)

“That’s entirely different than talking to somebody who demands acceptance rather than asking for forgiveness,” George said.

“Does he not realize the repercussions? Perhaps he doesn’t,” George said. “I don’t know whether he’s conscious of all the consequences of some of the things he’s said and done that raise doubts in people’s minds.”

Yet George insisted that his outlook was not shaped by the politics of left v. right.

“The liberal/conservative thing is destructive of the Church’s mission and her life,” he said in his November 2014 conversation with Crux, the last extended interview he gave before his death.

“You’re taking a definition that comes out of nowhere, as far as we’re concerned, it’s a modern distinction, and making it the judgment of the Church’s life. It’s because we’re lazy. You put a label on people, you put a label on something, and it saves you the trouble of thinking.”

“For us,” he said, “the category that matters is true/false.”

Like the two popes for whom he was a confidante and American interpreter, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, George will be remembered for an unflinching defense of truths he saw as rooted in Catholic teaching and tradition, which he felt needed to be heard by a culture increasingly inclined to spiritual deafness.

His views were not always shared by others, even at times disputed by members of his own flock, but few would question the cogency and resolve with which Cardinal Francis George expressed them.
Last edited by jserraglio on Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:41 pm

Yes, now tell me that he was not an enthusiastic polemicist and lobbyist against abortion freedom to choose (in some cases violating separation of church and state), coverage of women's needs including contraception as a matter of routine in health insurance, and recognition of gay people other than by saying "we love you but disapprove of what you do." These are all disqualifications for a modern prelate, and I don't care that he didn't kick his dog.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:58 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:41 pm
I don't care that he didn't kick his dog.
Image

Dog abuser or not, the late bishop was doing his job honorably by speaking his mind.

I mostly disagreed with him, but at least we've moved past picking nits about what the man said or didn't say about original sin.
Last edited by jserraglio on Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

Belle
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by Belle » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:55 pm


RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:04 am


On Friday, 9 FEB 2018, I listened to only one CD.
 
 
CD 1 of a 14 CD set of some of Leopold Stokowkski's recordings with RCA. |Tr. 1-4, Beethoven (1770-1827): Sym. 3 in E Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica" (46'31) |Tr. 5, Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 (5'43) |Tr. 6, Brahms (1833-97): Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 (10;49) |Tr. 7, Stokowski speaks to the orchestra (1'13)--New Philharmonia Orch. (Tr. 6), London Symphony Orch. (Tr. 1-5, 7). Rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, London, England 25-27 MAR 1974 (Tr. 1-4), 28 MAR 1974 (Tr. 7), 21 JUN 1974 (Tr. 6).
 
The positive way to review this CD is to say that it gets better as it goes along. But this Eroica, though more impressive in the last two movements than in the first two, would still not be among my top fifteen recommendations for this work. The Coriolan is better, but not as good as Reiner's. for example. The Academic Festival Overture is wonderfully exciting, and definitely the best performance on this CD. The last track is a simple expression of gratitude from the conductor for the recent high quality of the orchestra's work. It shows that Stokowski was a congenial man, not one of thos dictators of the baton like Szell or Reiner or Toscanini, but a man more aware than most conductors of the collegiality involved in making music.
Last edited by RebLem on Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:18 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:02 am
RebLem wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:46 am


Not to put too fine a point on it, this is flat out Commie agitprop music. You can get a good idea of what its about @ http://americansymphony.org/deutsche-si ... 0-1936-58/ and this performance of the work is online @ YouTube.
So why are you wasting our time, Rob? BTW, if I have not pointed it out before, your signature is not a saying of the late dubious Cardinal George, though he might have quoted it. I assure you, I have known my share of American Cardinals, and none of them was a man of sufficient stature to originate such a saying.
I never said he originated it. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. All I KNOW is that I heard him say it in a TV interview on a live show on the local PBS station in Chicago early in his tenure as archbishop of Chicago, and it was the first time I had ever heard it.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:01 am

If the Stokowski box includes his monaural recordings with "His Symphony Orchestra," some of his best post-Philadelphia work on records, it should provide excellent listening. The Schumann 2nd symphony was a clear-cut first choice in its day.

So who was "His Symphony Orchestra" anyway? I've found a detailed explanation by James H. North, at http://www.stokowski.org/Stokowski_His_ ... hestra.htm. It was a pickup orchestra of New York players, some of whom were members of the NBC Symphony, some of the New York Philharmonic, and some of the Metropolitan Opera. Outstanding players whom many will know by name included Philharmonic flutists John Wummer and Julius Baker, oboists Robert Bloom and Ray Still, clarinetist David Oppenheim, and bassoonists Hugo Burghauser, Sol Schoenbach, and Bernard Garfield. The strings included several concertmasters and section principals and all but Robert Mann of the Juilliard String Quartet. Add to these not-so-raw materials Stokowski's magic touch, with which he made every orchestra he conducted his own, and there's gold in them thar hills.

Of course of the box doesn't include any of these recordings, forget I said it.
John Francis

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by david johnson » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:18 am

Glass: Violin Concerto/Kremer/Dohnanyi/VPO

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:17 am


On Saturday, 10 FEB 2018, I listened to 7 CDs.
 
 
1) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): Tr. 1-4, Sym. 82 in C Major "L'Ours" (The Bear) (25'23) |Tr. 5-8, Sym. 83 in G Minor "La Poule" (The Hen) )25'21) |Tr. 9-12, Sym. 84 in E Flat Major (22'52)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch., Rec 1991, 1992, 1994 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. This is CD 25 of a 33 CD Brilliant Records set of the complete Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.
 
As I pointed out a couple days ago when I listened to the 3 symphonies right before these, we are not getting into the last 23 symphonies, and the number of recordings availabe for these 3 are triple the number available for the 3 before these. Competition from here on in is a lot stiffer than it was for the earlier symphonies. If you're only going to have one of each symphony, I personally recommend the Sigiswald Kuijken recordings of 82-104, but part of the joy of listening is collecting, and I would not want to be without a great many other performances as well. You'll never go far wrong with the Dorati set, either.
 
 
2) CD 10 in a 23 CD + 1 DVD set of all Clifford Curzon's recording for DECCA. CD 10 consists entirely of MONO recordings. |Tr. 1-4, F. Schubert (1797-1828): Four Impromptus, D889 (24'38)--rec. 4 JUN, 11 NOV, & 18 DEC 1941@ Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, London. |W.A. Mozart (1753-91): Tr. 5-7, Piano Concerto 23 in A Major, K. 488 (25'47) |Tr. 8-10, Piano Concerto 24 in C Minor, K. 491 (29'27)--Josef Krips, cond., London Sym. Orch., rec. Kingsway Hall, London 12-14 & 19-24 OCT 1953.
 
The Schubert piece is really old. By really old, I mean one that was recorded before tape recording made editing from a pristine original possible. This was copied off a disc which has a little hiss and some light scratches and dings on it. The performance itself is very good, but certainly not up to the best audio standards.
 
The Mozart concerti are from a bit later, after tape recorded originals had become the standard practice. These are fine, idiomatic performances wit a self-effacing conductor who lets the music and the soloist have the spotlight. Excellent recordings.
 
 
3) Johannes Brahms (1833-97): Tr. 1-4, Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34 (42'31) |Tr. 5-8, Horn Trio in E Flat, Op. 40 (28'33)--John Browning, piano, Members of the St Luke Chamber Ensemble (Krista Bennion Feeney, violin I, Mayuski Fukuhara, violin II (PQ), Louise Schulman, viola (PQ), Daire Fitzgerald, cello, Joseph Anderer, French horn (HT). A Musical Heritage Society CD. No information on recording dates or venues. CD published 1999.
 
These are both good performances, but IMO, some of the competition leaves this in the dust. First of all, I own two complete sets of all the Brahms chamber music, one from Philips where the Piano Quintet is performed by Werner Haas and Members of the Berlin Philharmonic Octet and the Horn Trio by Francis Orval, horn, Arthur Grumiaux, violin, and Georgy Sebok, piano. If I were going to keep only one set, this is the set I'd keep--the string quartets, btw, are those of the Quartetto Italiano. And then I also have another complete set from hyperion where the Piano Quintet is performed by Australian native Piers Lane and the New Budapest Quartet and the horn trio by Stephen Stirling, horn, Anthony Marwood, violin & Susan Tomes, piano. I own others, too, including a pretty good Piano Quintet on LP with Andre Previn and the Yale Quartet. Although the present recording by John Browning and co. is very good, it is, I regret to say, pretty much at the bottom of the heap in my personal collection.
 
 
4) Jean Sibelius (1865-1957): |Tr. 1-4, Symphony 2 in D Major, Op. 43 (44'55)--rec. 23-24 Nov 1976, Abbey Rd. Studio 1, London. |Tr. 5-7, Symphony 3 in D Major, Op. 52 (31'14)--rec. 20-21 JUN 1977 Guildhall, Southampton--Paavo Berglund, cond., Bournemouth Symphony Orch. This is CD 2 in an EMI set of 4 of Berglund's first (of 3) recorded go round with the Sibelius symphonies.
 
Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town on the south coast of England. In the 2011 census, it had a population of 183,491, thus the largest settlement in Dorset. But, with Poole to the west and Christchurch to the east, it comprises a metropolitan complex of over 465,000. This is appropos nothing in particular, but the pleasant atmosphere does explain why great conductors want to come there, instead of staying in big metropolitan areas with bigger populations and more famous orchestras. And besides, the evidence of these recordings suggest that the Bournemouth Symphony is a highly underrated ensemble. It is far, far better than its reputation.
 
The Second Symphony is a hard one to mess up, and Berglund doesn't. This is one of the most stirring pieces of music ever written. The construction of the first movement is a bit unusual. It consists of a short tune which is constantly repeated, with a few more bars and a little more elaboration added with each repetition. It has a cumulative, almost hypnotic effect on the listener. I have never really heard a dud performance of this work. The competition is great, but Berglund is definitely up to it. Many great sets of these symphonies have been recorded, and I have a whole bunch of them, but I am enjoying this one as much as most any. And the third symphony, in the second movement, has a charmingly jaunty march tune that reminds me a bit of the march from the first movement of the Shostakovich 7th symphony, but with none of the menace of that work. It is a pleasant, worry free musical experience that will make you want to rock in your seat.
 
 
5) Richard Strauss (1864-1949): |Tr. 1-5, Five Piano Pieces, Op. 3 (21'58) |Tr. 6-9, Piano Sonata in B Minor, Op. 5 (21'21) |Tr. 10-14, Stimmungbilder (Evocations), Op. 9 (18'18)--Frank Braley, piano. Harmonia Mundi CD Rec. July 1997 a l'auditorium de l'Ecole de Musique d'Aulnay-sous-Bois.
 
You didn't know that Richard Strauss wrote solo piano music, did you? Apparently, on the evidence here, he did, early in his career. Frank Braley is a French pianist, so his first name is prounounced as if it were spelled "Fronk." I checked on him in Google and found a bio on French Wikipedia, from which I was able to garner the fact that he was born in Corbell-Essonnes, France, a southeastern suburb of Paris on 4 FEB 1968. I wish I had known that earlier so I could have reviewed this CD on his birthday! For it is a special record, extraordinarily well performed and recorded to Harmonia Mundi's usual level of absolute perfection.
 
But already, in these very early works, one can hear Strauss straining at the limitations a single instrument puts on him. He was just starting out, so he doubltess felt he had to compose early on in smaller forms to make himself marketable, but some of this music seems to cry out for orchestration.
 
 

6) N. Miaskovsky (1881-1950): |Tr. 1, Symphony (-ballad) 22 in B Minor, Op. 54 (1941) (36'23) |Tr. 2-4, Symphony 26 in C Major, Op. 79 (1948) (42'30)--Evgeny Svetlanov, cond., Russian Federation Sym. Orch. Rec. 1991-3, this is CD 8 of a 16 CD Warner set of the complete Miaskovsky symphonies + some other orchestral works by these forces.

 

I have indicated in past posts on the box that the music seemed to me pedestrian and unexciting. Not so with these works. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_ ... yaskovsky) I could find no review of the 26th symphony anywhere, but I had a more positive reaction to it and this CD in general than I have to previous CDs in this series.

 
 

7) Franz Schubert (1797-1827): Die schöne Müllerin, Op.25, D.795 (The Fair Maid of the Mill) to poems by Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827). Mark Padmore, tenor, Paul Lewis, piano. A Hyperion CD. Rec. 9/2009 @ Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London.

 
These sounded like exceptionally good performances to your humble reviewer, but I checked on Amazon, and the three people who reviewed it there all found it lacking. Scubert is not one of my preoccupations; I am not all that familiar with the discography of his songs. I need further study and exploration to make up my mind.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:47 am

​On Sunday, 11 FEB 2018, I listened to 5 CDs.


1) CD 2 in the 14 CD RCA reissue called "Leopold Stokowski: The Stereo Collection 1954-75." |Tr. 1-3, D Shostakovich (1906-75): Symphony 6 in B Minor, Op. 54 (1939) (31'20) |Tr. 4-7, The Age of Gold--Ballet Suite, Op. 22a (18'23) |Tr. 8, Aram Khachaturian (1903-78): Symphony 3 in C Major (1947) "Simfoniya-poema" (23'04)--Chicago Symphony Orch., Mary Sauer, organist (in Khachaturian) rec. 20-21 FEB 1968.

It is fitting we should listen to this now, as the 50th anniversary of this recording is coming up next week.

Shostakovich wrote the Sixth Symphony in 1939, just as the Germans were invading the Soviet Union; it was premiered in Leningrad under the direction of Yevgeny Mravinsky in November, 1939. It starts out with a long largo (17'14 in this performance), but peps up with a 6'29 allegro for the second movement, and an even fleeter 7'37 presto for the last movement. It doesn't seem the Shotakovich is all that worried this early in the war. That was to change with the 7th and 8th symphonies, but we are getting ahead of ourselves here. This is actually, overall, along with the 9th symphony, one of Shostakovich's more cheerful and optimistic works.

The Age of Gold (or The Golden Age) is a ballet which was premiered in 1930. It has a very unrealistic plot which demonstrates, more than anything else, how much the doctrinaire Communists got the nature of the dynamics of western societies wrong. Here is Wikipedia's outline of the plot:

"The ballet is a satirical take on the political and cultural change in 1920s' Europe. It follows a Soviet football (soccer) team in a Western city [called U-Town in the ballet] where they come into contact with many politically incorrect bad characters such as the Diva, the Fascist, the Agent Provocateur, the Negro and others. The team falls victim to match rigging, police harassment, and unjust imprisonment by the evil bourgeoisie. The team is freed from jail when the local workers overthrow their capitalist overlords. The ballet ends with a dance of solidarity between the workers and the football team."
In particular, they got the dynamics of racism wrong. In the ballet, the white workers become the defenders of the black man, who is being mistreated even worse than the whites by the bosses. We all know that just isn't how racism works, but that was the party line in the 1930's.

In 2006, Jose Serebrier and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, of all ensembles, made the very first recording of the complete ballet on a 2 CD set for NAXOS. I urge you all to listen to it. Despite the ridiculous plot, it has lots of really good music, and Serebrier and his Scots deserve our praise and patronage for this project. (As an aside, it used to be called just the Scottish National Orchestra, but sometime in the 1970's, when the Scottish Nationalists started putting on the heat, the central government in London quietly saw to the addition of the word "Royal" to the name as a not so sublte reminder that all those nice arts subsidies from London would no longer be forthcoming if the Nationalists won.)

Anyway, Shostakovich wrote the suite even before the premiere of the ballet, and it has been far more popular over the years than the whole ballet.

The Khachaturian performance gave Mary Sauer, the pianist and organist for the CSO for many years, a rare opportunity to get the spotlight. For most any hard core Chicago Symphony fan, that is one of the chief attractions of this performance. Khachaturian was born in what is now Tblisi, Geogria (when he was born, it was called Tiflis), but he was an Armenian composer, and was always very proud of that. He made serious efforts throughout his career to use folk melodies from many of the minority peoples of the Soviet Union (with special emphasis on Armenia, of course) in the creation of his music. This meant that he was not in trouble with the ideologues as often as many of his colleagues, like Prokofiev & Shotakovich, but he was not immune from attack, and was one of the people accused in the Zhdanov decree in 1948.

Wikipedia describes the third symphony thus:
"The Symphony No. 3 by Aram Khachaturian, subtitled Symphony–Poem, was composed in 1947 for the 30th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, and premiered on Leningrad on December 13 by the Leningrad Philharmonic conducted by Yevgeny Mravinsky. It was his last contribution to the genre. Originally conceived as a symphonic poem, it is a single movement symphony featuring an organ solo and fifteen trumpets conceived as a hymn of praise of the Soviet Union, with Khachaturian saying that he "wanted this work to express the Soviet people’s joy and pride in their great and mighty country". However, the work's raw and strident style, which has been related to the 1920s Soviet constructivist avantgarde, and unorthodox structure and instrumentation dissatisfied the Stalinist cultural authorities, and it was condemned as formalistic in the 1948 Zhdanov decree."


2) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): Tr. 1-4, Symphony 85 in B Flat Major "La Reine" (The Queen) (23'52) |Tr. 5-8, Symphony 86 in D Major (26'45) |Tr. 9-12, Symphony 87 in A Major (22'35)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch.--rec. 1991, 1992, & 1994 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. This is CD 26 of a 33 CD Brilliant Records set of all the Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.

These performances are done with Fischer' usual level of total commitment to the music. I do, however, still prefer the Sigiswald Kuijken recordings if you are going to have only one of the Paris symphonies.


3) CD 11 of a 23 CD + 1 DVD set of all of Clifford Curzon's recordings for DECCA. This CD is devoted to solo piano music of Schubert and Schumann. |Tr. 1-3, Robert Schumann (1810-56): Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17 (30'37) |Tr. 4-16, Kinderszenen, Op. 15 (16'28) |Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Wanderer Fantasie, D760 (21'23). Schumann pieces rec. 1-3 MAR 1954 & the Schubert on 19-20 July 1949, all @ Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, London.

All of these performances are of the highest standard of quality. Some newer recordings may have better sound, esp in the Schubert, which was recorded in 1949. Kinderszenen is particularly affecting, but I have prejudice for it, as it is my personal favorite Schumann solo piano work.


4) Robert Schumann (1810-56): |Tr. 1-4, String Quartet 1 in A Mnor, Op. 41 # 1 (26'45) |Tr. 5-8, String Quartet 2 in F Major, Op. 41 # 2 (22'26)--Alberni Quartet (Howard Davis, violin I, Peter Pople, violin II, Berian Evans, viola, David Smith, cello)-- Rec. 1976 Unitarian Church, Roslyn Hill, Hampstead, UK. This is CD 1 of a 7 CD Brilliant Records set of the complete chamber music of Robert Schumann. These performances licensed from CRD, UK.

This is the only complete set of all of Schumann's chamber music together in one box, so, in that sense, it is non-competitive. And these are, on this CD, at least, excellent performances. But it lacks the emotional range of some others, and for that reason, it seems not to be the top choice for very many people. It does not get an ArchivMusic recommendation, though several other recordings of these works do. At Amazon, the reviews are mixed; this set get as few as two starrs from some, and all 5 from a few. I'd give it maybe 3.5. I enjoy these recordings, but I will be looking for others.


5) Jean Sibelius (1865-1957): Tr. 1-3, Symphony 5 in E Flat Major, Op. 82 (1915, rev. 1919) (32'12)--rec. 14 JUN 1973 |Tr. 4-7, Symphony 6 in D Minor, Op. 104 (1923) (31'32)--rec. 24 JUN 1973 |Tr. 8-9, Karelia Suite, Op. 11--Mvts 1 & 3 |Tr. 10, Kuolema. Op. 44 (1903): Valse triste--rec. 9-10 JAN 1972--Paavo Berglund, cond., Bournmeouth Symphony Orch.--Sym 6 rec. Kingsway Hall, London; all others rec. in the Guildhall, Southampton. CD 3 in a 4 CD EMI set of Paavo Berglund's first of three sets of recordings of all the Sibelius symphonies.

A few little housekeeping details first. The first version of the 5th symphony had 4 movements, but the two revisions (the second has been lost) reduced it to 3, and what is played here and is played in most sets of the symphonies is the revised 1919 version.

The complete Karelia was incidental music for orchestra and voice which consisted of an overture, 8 tableaux and 2 intermezzi. Sibelius also abstracted from this a Karelia Suite which consisted of 3 movements, the middle of which was a Ballade for baritone and orchestra, which is not played here. The version of the suite presented here, and in most public performances, consists only of the first and third movements, an Intermezzo which here is 4'01, and the 4'50 Alla marchia.

Per Wikipedia, "Kuolema (Finnish: “Death”), Op. 44, is incidental music for orchestra by Jean Sibelius for a play of that name by Arvid Järnefelt, structured in six movements, originally scored for a string orchestra, bass drum and a bell. He conducted the first performance at Helsinki's National Theatre on 2 December 1903. He drew individual works from the score and revised them under two opus numbers:
⦁ Op. 44 no. 1 ⦁ Valse triste, completed in 1904
⦁ Op. 44 no. 2 Scene with Cranes, completed in 1906
⦁ Op. 62a Canzonetta (Rondino der Liebenden) for string orchestra, first version in 1906, final version in 1911
⦁ Op. 62b Valse romantique (Waltz intermezzo), completed in 1911\l "

All of these performances are exceptionally fine ones, but most of the available sets are. Sibelius just seems to be a composer that lots of conductors and orchestras love and get right. Generally, most people these days seem to prefer the set with Colin Davis conducting the London Symphony, but the old set by John Barbirolli and the Halle Orchestra is still remembered fondly, and played. This new set by Berglund will be my 8th complete set of the Sibelius symphonies. In addition to those already mentioned, I admire and like versions by Colin Davis and the Boston Symphony, and one by Arvo Volmer and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Others that I have that I don't like as much as these are a set by Alexander Gibson and the Royal Scottish Orchestra, one by Kurt Sanderling and the Berliner Sinfonie Orchester, and another by Osmo Vanska and the Lahti Sumphony Orchestra (Lahti is a city in Finland). And, of course, Bernstein conducted a set which I have on LP but not on CD. And I admire some individual performances of some of these works by conductors who never did the whole cycle. For some reason, Karajan seems to relate very well to Sibelius, and his performances of some of the symphonies are excelletn, and then there's a famous recording by Serge Koussevitzky of the Second Symphony which I admire very much.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by david johnson » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:21 am

Bach: St. Matthew Passion/Klemperer/Peter Pears, DFK, etc./Philharmonia/EMI

John F
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:52 am

"The Golden Age" was revived by the Bolshoi Ballet some years ago. The choreography by Yuri Grigorovich, restaged by Alexei Ratmansky, had nothing to do with football (soccer) players; it is set in a restaurant named The Golden Age. This is the only ballet I've seen in which a bear crosses the stage riding a bicycle. Ratmansky has also revived the other two early Shostakovich ballets, "The Bolt" and "The Limpid Stream." For me, he is the outstanding choreographer today, especially of story ballets, and as he's now with American Ballet Theatre, we have plenty of opportunities to see his work.

Alexander Gibson's Sibelius with the Scottish National Orchestra disappointed me as I had expected better. His earlier recording of the 5th symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra at its best remains the version I like best - and the competition in this symphony is very stiff. Reviving the first version of the 5th symphony does Sibelius no favors; his revision transforms the piece. Koussevitzky recorded the 2nd symphony twice; I grew up with the earlier version, made in the 1930s, and think the orchestra is more impressive than in the 1950 remake for LP.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:31 am

A great performance from July, 1963 -- the US premiere of this work.
________________________________________________________________

Image

Anthony Fogg
Artistic Administrator, BSO
Tanglewood, 2007

The Boston Symphony of this period boasted some of its greatest-ever
principal players. The chamber orchestra featured not only
Silverstein, but Doriot Anthony Dwyer (flute), Ralph Gomberg (oboe),
Sherman Walt (bassoon), and Everett (Vic) Firth (percussion) — all
legendary players in the symphonic world; the trumpets of the main
orchestra included Armando Ghittala and Roger Voisin, whose unique
tonal color had become among the hallmarks of the BSO; the chamber
organist was Daniel Pinkham, the outstanding keyboardist and composer
from the Boston area.
_____________________________________________________________________

Boston Globe Review
Back from the archives, a night to remember: Leinsdorf, Britten, and an unforgettable US premiere
By David Perkins
March 9, 2008

. . . . A DVD issued by Video Artists International captures the War Requiem in its first American performance, at Tanglewood on July 27, 1963, by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under its new music director, Erich Leinsdorf . . . .

The Britten ... has a special electricity. It was a new work, and a premiere, so no one could be sure how it would come off. The sound is excellent, thanks to Symphony archivist Bridget Carr, who found the stereo radio broadcast in her files. This was then married to WGBH's videotape. Together, they capture an evening of great intensity and collaborative purpose.

Leinsdorf was at his best in a massive choral work like this, with his big opera-house beat and broad view of the score. He has fine soloists in soprano Phyllis Curtin (who considered this one of her finest evenings, with reason), tenor Nicholas Di Virgilio (a beautiful, well-trained singer, who retired from a teaching career at the University of Illinois a few years ago), and Tom Krause, the splendid Finnish baritone, then only 29 and making his American debut. Alfred Nash Patterson's Chorus Pro Musica is well coached and charged up.

The cumulative impact is shattering, a microcosm of the experience of war itself. (The final images of the audience disappearing might suggest they didn't like it much; in fact, they applauded for 20 minutes.) For years, Britten's own 1963 Decca recording was the only one on the market. Others have followed, but none, not even Britten's, is superior to this.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by Belle » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:31 am

david johnson wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:21 am
Bach: St. Matthew Passion/Klemperer/Peter Pears, DFK, etc./Philharmonia/EMI
What's THAT like? Klemperer's tempi were always a bit leaden; that's why I'm asking.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:47 pm

I'd agree that Roger Voisin's tone color was unique - blaring and loud. For me he wasn't a BSO asset but a liability. Similarly principal horn James Stagliano. Leinsdorf replaced the orchestra's substandard principals when he could, but that was limited.
John Francis

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:23 am


On Monday, 12 FEB 2018, I listened to 2 CDs.
 
 
1) Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757): 30 Sonatas--John Browning, piano. A Musical Heritage CD--no information on recording dates or venues. Published 1994.
 
Mr. Browning plays these very brief sonatas (the longest is 5'28, and only 3 others are more than 4'00) on a modern piano with great skill, aplomb, and virtuosity.
 
 
2) N Miaskovsky (1881-1950): |Tr. 2-3, Symphony 24 in F Minor, Op. 63 (1943) (38'44) |Tr. 4-6, Symphony 27 in C Minor, Op. 83 (1949)--Evgeny Svetlanov, cond., Russian Federation Sym. Orch. Rec. 1991-3 in the Large Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow. Issued by Warner Records.
 
The AllMusic website says this of the 24th symphony:

"This ...was written in 1943 and has traditionally been seen as a war symphony. (Myaskovsky was a career military officer even when he was a conservatory music student and as such had served at the front during World War I.) The two main themes of the first movement (Allegro deciso) both have elements of military fanfares, the first pronounced by the solo horn, the second, more ominous one by massed trumpets and trombones. The movement gains its dramatic effect by contrasting lyrical (but energetic) passages with powerful and decisive symphonic action.

The dramatic heart of the symphony is the second movement (Molto sostenuto). The mood is both tragic and spiritual. A Russian program annotator (Aleksei Ikonnikov) wrote that the spirtuality of the piece is not reminiscent of the icons of a monastery, but of the legendary warriors (bogatyrs) of medieval Russia going to the defense of the fatherland in a time of severe danger.

The finale (Allegro appassionato) is full of energy and conflict. Thunderous fanfares recalling the first movement constitute the main theme. Myaskovsky brings it to a confident but serious conclusion, providing the emotional summing up not only of the last movement, but of the preceding movements as well. As Ikonnov wrote, this symphony is a strong and moving memorial to the war years."

 
Classics Today, an online source of classical music reviews, says of the last symphony:
"It’s remarkable how Nikolai Miaskovsky’s final symphony, composed in 1949, sounds as if it had been written even earlier than his 1923 Symphony No. 6 (type Q6121 in Search Reviews). Whereas the Sixth displays forward-looking harmonic techniques reminiscent of Scriabin, Symphony No. 27 steps backward into a comfortable Glazunov-style romantic idiom. That’s not to say it’s uninteresting. Miaskovsky’s melodic material is memorable, from the portentous recurring idea of the first movement to the profound Adagio with its gorgeous, finely-spun main theme. The orchestral writing is typical of this composer, which means it’s based solidly on Russian orchestral tradition with its muscular strings, piquant winds, and of course, prominent brass...."
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by david johnson » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:14 am

Belle wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:31 am
david johnson wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:21 am
Bach: St. Matthew Passion/Klemperer/Peter Pears, DFK, etc./Philharmonia/EMI
What's THAT like? Klemperer's tempi were always a bit leaden; that's why I'm asking.
it is enjoyable. perhaps you could sample it on you tube.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by david johnson » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:19 am

John F wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:47 pm
I'd agree that Roger Voisin's tone color was unique - blaring and loud. For me he wasn't a BSO asset but a liability. Similarly principal horn James Stagliano. Leinsdorf replaced the orchestra's substandard principals when he could, but that was limited.
The bso had an old style French influence among the trumpets. It was different, but not substandard.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:10 am


On Tuesday, 13 FEB 2018, I listened to some music online and to 1 CD.
 
 
One of my FB friends, Jim Williams, posted in my thread on Harry T Burleigh a whole long, sequential, 2 hour long (at least) thread from YouTube on Burleigh. It included lots of student recital pieces, many of which were very good, esp. one by one Ian Williams, who sang three Burleigh songs--Go Down, Moses, My Lord! What a Morning', and Every Time I Feel the Spirit. Listen to that one even if you don't listen to any of the others. It also included two speeches by one of his biographers, Dr. Jean E Snyder, @ the Library of Congress which was over 66 minutes long, and well worth every second, and another shorter one of about 15 minutes at St George's Episcopal Church in Manhattan, where Burleigh had been a member of the choir for many years. The church, which was all white until Burleigh showed up, had some controversy about his appointment, but the choir director stood behind him and the church council decided by a one vote margin to approve his contract. The last board member to vote, who settled the tie in Burleigh's favor, was the banker J. P. Morgan. At any rate, Jim Williams has done us an inestimable service and I hope you will all take the time to listen to at least some of it.
 
 
Then, the one CD is listened to:
 
 
CD 3 of a 14 CD survey of Leopold Stokowski's recordings for RCA, called "Leopold Stokowski: The Stereo Collection, 1954-1975." This volume features Stokowski conducting Members of the NBC Symphony. Tr. 1-7, Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007): Sebastian: ballet suite (23'23) |Tr. 8-12, Prokofiev (1891-1953): Romeo & Juliet (selections) (28'21). Rec. Manhattan Center, NYC, 28-30 SEP 1954 (Tr. 1-7), 5-7 OCT 1954 (Tr. 8-12).
 
AllMusic describes Sebastian as follows:

"Menotti composed this ballet score to his own libretto in 1944. The choreography of the original production was considered unsuccessful, but with restagings later it became a success. Sebastian is a Moorish slave, secretly in love with a courtesan. She, in her turn, shares love with the Prince of their Italian kingdom. The prince's sisters, desiring to end the affair, steal the courtesan's veil, which allows them to work black magic on her, which they can do with a life-sized wax figure covered with the veil; firing arrows into it will kill her. Sebastian learns of the plot, substitutes himself for the wax figure, and is shot with the arrows. The sacrifice breaks their spell over the courtesan, and she is reunited with her beloved. Menotti's music is ardent and romantic, sort of an Italian Prokofiev in style and sound. It is very listenable, a fine score of its type. There is a suite in seven movements drawn from the score."

 

For information on Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and ... Prokofiev)

This is some of the least dissonant and most soaringly romantic music Prokofiev ever wrote.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:53 am

Image

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:49 am


On Wednesday, 14 FEB 2018, I listened to 4 CDs.
 
 
1) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): Tr. 1-4, Sym. 88 in G Minor (21'45) |Tr. 5-8, Symphoy 89 in F Major (21'23) |Tr. 9-12, Symphony 90 in C Major (26'23)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch.--rec. 1990-1 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. This is CD 27 of a 33 CD Brilliant Records set of all the Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.
 
I still prefer the Kuijken recordings of these works. And, in # 88, one by George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra is also preferable.
 
 
2) CD 12 in the 23 CD + 1 DVD set of all Clifford Curzon's recordings for DECCA. MONO a) Tr. 1-4, Johannes Brahms (1833-97): Piano Concerto 1 in D Minor, Op. 15 (47'05)--Eduard van Beinum, Concertgebouw Orch.--rec. in the Great Room, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, May, 1953 |b) Tr. 4-6, Edvard Grieg (1843-1907): Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16 (31'07)--Anatole Fistoulari, cond., London Symphony Orch.--rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 15-16 OCT 1951.
 
The Brahms is not as good a performance as several others by Curzon, including the classic one featuring George Szell conducting. As for the Grieg, I liked the one earlier in this set with Olvin Fjelstad conducting the same orchestra much better than this one.
 
 
3) CD 2 in a 7 CD Brilliant Classics set of the complete Robert Schumann (1810-56) chamber music. |Tr. 1-4, String Quartet 3 in A Major, Op. 41 # 3 (30'51)--Alberni Quartet (Howard Davis, violin I, Peter Pople, violin II, Berian Evans, viola, Gregory Baron, cello). |Tr. 5-8, Piano Trio 1 in D Minor, Op. 63 (31'02)--Israel Piano Trio (Alexander Volkov, piano, Menahem Breuer, violin, Marcel Bergman, cello). Both recorded @ Church of St George the Martyr, Holborn, London, 1975 (Quartet), 1986 (Trio). Licensed from CRD, UK.
 
I enjoyed these performances, but the consensus of critical opinion does not. Other sets of the quartets, and of the trios, particularly the Beaux Arts Trio, are preferred.
 
 
4) Jean SIbelius (1865-1957): Tr. 1, Symphony 7 in C Major, Op. 105 (21'55) |Tr. 2, Finlandia, Op. 26 (8'06) |Tr. 3, Lemminkainen Suite, Op 22: # 2, The Swan of Tuonela (8'41) |Tr. 4-5, King Christian II, Op. 27 (12'42) |Tr. 6, The Bard, Op. 64 (8'14) |Tr. 7, Tapiola, Op. 112 (18'11)--Paavo Berglund, cond., Bournemouth Symphony Orch. All performances rec. in Southampton Guildhall. Rec. 9-10 JAN 1972 (Tr. 2, 3), 7-8 MAY 1972 (Tr. 1, 7), 24 Jun 1976 (Tr. 6), & 6-7 MAY 1978 (Tr. 4, 5). This is CD 4 of 4 CDs recorded for EMI in Paavo Berglund's 1st of 3 cycles of the Sibelius symphonies.
 
The Symphony 7 is regarded by some as Sibelius's greatest work. I have never been able to see a lot in it, but that may well be just because of my weaknesses or shortsightedness. Finlandia exists in several versions; originally it was a work for orchestra and chorus and in whatever form it was deemed to have such nationalistic import that it provoked riots in the streets in the 1890's, when Finland was occupied by Czarist Russia, resulting in its being banned for a period of time.
 

As for Lemminkainen, I suggest you read a short Wikipedia article on this character in Finnish mythology @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemmink%C3%A4inen In any event, the Lemminkainen Suite has four sections, one of which is The Swan of Tuonela. Tuonela is a river in the Underworld. A few conductors have conducted the complete Legends of Lemminkainen, and a few more have recorded the complete suite, but the general practice is to break them up. The Swant of Tuonela is by far the most popular of the 4 movements of the suite. BIS is a label which is devoted, among other things, to recording complete versions of these works.

 

King Christian II is incidental music for a play of the same name. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Chri ... (Sibelius) for details.

 

I suggest you read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bard_(Sibelius) for information on The Bard, a Sibelius tone poem.

 

From Wikipedia: "Tapiola (literally, "Realm of Tapio"), Op. 112, is a tone poem by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, written in 1926 on a commission from Walter Damrosch for the New York Philharmonic Society. Tapiola portrays Tapio, the animating forest spirit mentioned throughout the Kalevala. It was premiered by Damrosch on 26 December 1926."

Tapiola is also a coastal district in the southeast of Finland, and is Sibelius's work is a programmatic description of it and its importance to Finnish nationalists.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:24 am

I never "got" the Sibelius 7th until a concert by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Colin Davis revealed it to me. They recorded it at about the same time.
John Francis

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by Belle » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:02 pm

I've been enjoying this, chromecast to my TV, with a friend staying for the weekend. I just love it!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3-jlAamGCE

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:10 am


On Saturday, 17 FEB 2018, and into the wee hours of 18 FEB, I listened to 7 CDs.
 
 
1) CD 4 in a 14 CD RCA selection of some of Leopold Stokowski's Stereo recordings 1954-75. CD 4 is an all Wagner bleeding chunks disc. 1) Die Walkure, Act III: The Ride of the Valkyries (5'46) |2) Tristan und Isolde, Act III: Prelude (10'11) |3) Das Rheingold, Act I: Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla (8'02) |4-5) Tannhauser: Overture (10'25, Venusberg Music (14'37) |6) Rienzi: Overture (12'05) |7) Die Walkure, Act III: Magic Fire Music (7'12)--Symphony of the Air (Tr. 1-4), Royal Philharmonic Orch. (6-7)--numerous vocal and other soloists, with chorus in Venusberg Music cond. by Margaret Hillis--Rec. Manhattan Center, NYC (1, 3-5), 28 DEC 1960 & (2) 20-21 APR 1961. Tr. 6-7, Barking Town Hall, London, 15, 16, 19 OCT 1973.
 
 
2) CD 4 in the above Stokowski 14 CD RCA set. It, too, is an all-Wagner disc. |Tr. 1-3, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg Act III excerpts: 1, Prelude (5'32), 2, Dance of the Apprentices (3'05), 3, Procession of the Meistersingers (3'02) |Tr. 4, 5 Tristan und Isolde excerpts: Prelude (10'03), Liebestod from Act III (8'45) |Tr. 6-8, Die Gotterdammerung excerpts: 6, Act III Prologue: Siegfried's Rhine Journey (12'08), Funeral March (8'07), Brunnhilde's Immolation Scene (19'32)--Royal Philharmonic Orch. (Tr. 1-5)--rec. 15, 16, 19 OCT 1973 Barking Town Hall, London, London Symphony Orch. (Tr. 6-8)--rec. 11-13, 15 NOV 1973 EMI Studios, London.
 
I really need to vent on the absurdity of the way the recordings on these two CDs are organized. What they should have done is put all the Ring cycle excerpts on 1 CD, which would have totalled 60'47, a little too short to have made a CD by itself, so they could have added the Die Meistersinger excerpts (11'39 total) to make a disc of 72.26. That would leave the other disc to contain the others, totalling 66'06, which would keep all the Tristan excerpts together, which are divided between the two discs as it is. This would have been a much more reasonable arrangement. I don't know why they didn't do it, unless they had an unduly excessive obsession with keeping the two discs almost exactly equal in length--as it is, CD 4 is 68'18, and CD 5 is two seconds shorter. That does not seem a reasonable concern to me.
 
As for the performances themselves, they are vigorous and exciting. The Tannhauser Overture and Venusburg Music was one of the first three pieces of classical music I fell in love with back in the late 1950's, when I was just getting interested in classical music. (The other two were the Haydn Military Symphony and Stravinsky's Firebird--those three would make an excellent symphony program, it seems to me.) This performance is better, just plain better, in every way, than the Bruno Walter recording, which was my first.
 
 
3) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): |Tr. 1-4, Symphony 91 in E Flat Major (25'52) |Tr. 5-8, Symphony 92 in G Major "Oxford" (26'53) |Tr. 6-11, Sinfonia Concertante in B Flat Major, for violin, cello, oboe, & Bassoon (21'38)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch. Soloists in Sinf. Conc--Rainer Kuchl, violin, Wolfgang Herzer, cello, Gerhard Turetschek, oboe, Michael Werba, bassoon--Rec. 1988, 1990-1 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. This is CD 28 of a 33 CD Brilliant set of all the Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.
 
Another winner in this uniformly excellent series. Keep in mind that my ultimate preference in these late works are the recordings by Sigiswald Kuijken.
 
 
4) Franz Liszt (1811-86): |Tr. 1-3, Piano Sonata in B Minor, S 178 (29'21) |Tr. 4, Liebestraum (Dream of Love) # 3 in A Flat Major, S 541 # 3 (4'48) |Tr. 5, Valse oubliee (Forgotten Waltz) # 1 in F Sharp Major, S 2'15) (3'12) |Tr. 6, Etudes de concert, S145: # 2 "Gnomenreigen" (Gnome Dance) (3'15) |Tr. 7, Berceuse, S174 (9'03)--Clifford Curzon, piano. Rec. Sofiensaal, Vienna, SEP 1963. This is CD 13 in a set of 23 CDs & 1 DVD of all Curzon's recordings for DECCA.
 
These are not works I listen to a lot, so I have little to go on as to their quality re: other available recordings. Obviously, the sonata is the major work here, all th rest are pretty much fillers, and I know enough to know that the sonata is one of Liszt's most admired and revered works. ArchivMusic has 212 listings for it; of course, some of those are duplicates--many performances are available in multiple issues--as single records, and as part of sets and so on. But this is one of the 65 recordings of the piece which is on their recommended list, though the most recommended is that of Claudio Arrau.
 
 
5) Robert Schumann (1810-56): |Tr. 1-4, String Quartet 3 in A Major, Op. 41 # 3 (30'51)--Alberni Quartet (Howard Davis, violin I, Peter Pople, violin II, Berian Evans, viola, Gregory Baron, cello) |Tr. 5-8, Piano Trio 1 in D Minor, Op. 63 (31'02)--Israel Piano Trio (Alexander Volkov, piano, Menahem Breuer, violin, Marcel Bergman, cello)--recorded @ Church of St George the Martyr, Holborn, London 1975 (Qt), 1986 (Trio). CD 2 of a 7 CD Brilliant Classics set of Schumann's complete chamber music. This CD licensed from CRD, UK.
 
These are very fine performances, but are not preferred by the cognoscenti. I agree with the general view that the best performances of the Piano Trios are those of the Beaux Arts Trio, which I have and enjoy. I also have and enjoy 2 other sets of the quartets--a single harmonia mundi CD by the Eroica Quartet, and a 2 CD EMI set which also includes the piano quintet by the Cherubini-Quartet, with Christian Zacharias as the pianist in the quintet. The EMI set is on the ArchivMusic list of recommended recordings, and there is another complete set of all Schumann's chamber music on the Warner label which is also on the recommended list. The Eroica Quartet performance, which I also like a lot, is not.
 
 
6) Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Tr. 1-2, Symphony 8 in B Minor, D 759 "Unfinished" (1822) (23'36)--rec. 25-27 JAN 1997, Tilburg Concertzaal. |Tr. 3-6, Symphony 6 in C Major, D 589 (1817-18) (30'43)--rec. 1,2 OCT 1996 Bruxelles, Lunatheater--Jos van Immerseel, cond., Anima Eterna Brugge. CD 1 of a 4 CD Outhere set of the complete symphonies of Franz Schubert by these forces.
 
Anima Eterna is an original instruments ensemble. These performances are among the very best, though I really think the Marriner set is indispensible for completeness, and a very high standard of performance as well. This is an assemblage which deserves out attention. Immerseel did a set of the Mozart Piano Concerti which is very good, though I felt they were a little underpowered, but his set of the Beethoven symphonies is one of my favorites, full of all manner of fresh insights. This performance is more geared toward the latter attitude--these are muscular and exciting performances.
 
 
7) Zdenek Fibich (1850-1900): Selected solo piano music--Radoslav Kvapil, piano |Tr. 1-19, Moods, Impressions, & Reminiscences from Op. 41, 44, 47, & 57 (42'22 ) |Tr. 20-24, Studies of Paintings, Op. 56 (1898-99) (27'58)--rec. OCT 1993 Rudolfinum, Prague, for Unicorn Kanchina/AMAT and licensed from them by REGIS.
 

Dvorak and Smetana are much better known than Fibich because they wrote music infused with the spirit of Czech nationalism. Fibich was much more ambivalent. Though his father was Czech, his mother was German, and his father was a forester who was beholden to German aristocrats. So, his music, while romantic, is not what one would call nationalist music in any sense. It certainly is commitedly and wholeheartedly romantic. Per Wikipedia, "Among his compositions are chamber works (including two string quartets, a piano trio, piano quartet and a quintet for piano, strings and winds), symphonic poems, three symphonies, at least seven operas (the most famous probably Šárka and The Bride of Messina), melodramas including the substantial trilogy Hippodamia, liturgical music including a mass – a missa brevis; and a large cycle (almost 400 pieces, from the 1890s) of piano works called Moods, Impressions, and Reminiscences. The piano cycle served as a diary of sorts of his love for a piano pupil."
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:28 am


On Sunday, 18 FEB 2018, I listened to 2 CDs.
 
 

1) N Miaskovksy (1881-1950): |Tr. 1-4, Symphony 16 in F Major, Op. 39 "The Aviation Symphony" (1934) (45'46) |Tr. 5-7, Symphony 8 in C Major, Op. 42 (1925) (23'39) |Tr. 8, Hulpigung's Overture in C Major, Op. 4 (1904-8) (9'49)--Evgeny Svetlanov, cond., Russian Federation Symphony Orch. CD 11 of a 16 CD set of all the Miaskovsky symphonies + some selected other orchestral works by these forces Rec. 1991-3 in the Large Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow. Issued by Warner Records.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_ ... yaskovsky) It is called the Aviation Symphony because it was inspired by the crash of the "Maksim Gorky," aka the Tupolev ANT-20, an 8 engine Soviet aircraft, the largest aircraft by any nation in the 1930's. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_ANT-20

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_ ... yaskovsky)

From Music Web International: "The Salutatory Overture (also seemingly known as the Hulpigung’s Overture) is so much better than its title and circumstances - the 60th birthday of Stalin - might suggest. It encapsulates much of the Myaskovsky manner: the tragic grandeur and the singing dignified melancholy. It is not the brash pot-boiler that we might have expected from Shostakovich's Festive Overture or the various examples by Kabalevsky. It is heroic and carries a sense of striving. Surprisingly its assertive lyricism has a distinct Rawsthorne flavour about it. There’s even an episode that recalls Hanson's Second Symphony."
 
 

Steven Roy Gerber (September 28, 1948 – May 28, 2015): |Tr. 1-10, Spirituals for string orchestra (2001) (18'33) |Tr. 11-12, Clarinet Concerto (2002) (20'44) |Tr. 13-14, Serenade Concertante (1998) (16'36)--Vladimir Lande, cond., St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony, Jon Manasse, clarinet (Tr. 11-12), Jose Miguel Cueto & Natalia Malkova, violins (in Tr. 13-14). An Arabesque Records CD, rec. @ the Krukov Kanal Recording Studio, St. Petersburg, Russia, 29 JAN 2005 (Tr. 1-10), 9 SEP 2005 (Tr. 11-12), & 30 JAN 2005 (Tr. 13-14).

 
None of these is a vocal work. The spirtuals are orchestral arrangements of spirituals, most of them, though not all, by Harry T Burleigh, and most of them are very short. The longest of them is the first, a 4'26 arrangement of Burleigh's "Goin' Home," which itself quoted from the second movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony. Only one other, # 6, a call and response on "Go Down, Moses," by Burleigh, is 2'36. All the others are under 2 minutes long.
 
The Serenade Concertante is a concerted work for 2 violins, harp, and string orchestra. The 2 violinists are named on the CD and in my headnote, but no information is in the notes on the identity of the harpist.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:05 am


On Monday, 19 FEB 2019, I listened to 1 CD.
 
 

CD 6 in the 14 CD set "Leopold Stokowski: The Stereo Collection, 1954-75." This CD is mostly short pieces of vocal music (7'06 or less) which could be done as encores at a concert featuring chorus and orchestra. The last selection is the big exception. |Tr. 1, Beethoven: 6 Lieder, Op. 48: # 4 Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur (The Heav'ns are Telling" (4'26) |Tr. 2, Traditional: Deep River, arr. by Norman Luboff (4'29) |Tr. 3, G. F. Handel: Serse: "Ombra mai fu," arr. Norman Luboff (3'16) |Tr. 4, Engelbert Humperdinck: Hansel und Gretel : Evening Prayer (5'06) |Tr. 5, J.S. Bach: Cantata 147 "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life): Jesu, Joy of Man Desiring (3'44) |Tr. 6, Rachmaninoff: Vocalise, Op. 34/14, arr. Norman Luboff (7'06) |Tr. 7, Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow (Doxology: Old 100th) (2'57) |Tr. 8, Wagner: Tannhauser: Pilgrim's Chorus (4'04) |Tr. 9, J.S. Bach: Cantata 208 "Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd (My only pleasure is the merry hunt)" aka The Hunting Cantata: 'Schafe können sicher weiden' ('Sheep may safely graze), arr. Leopold Stokowski (6'29) |Tr. 10, P.I. Tchaikovsky: Nine Sacred Pieces for unaccompanied mixed chorus: # 6, Pater Noster (5'23) |Tr. 11, C.W. Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice: "O Savior, Hear Me" (4'35) |Tr. 12-19, G.F. Handel: Water Music Suite in F Major (selections) (23'03)--New Symphony Orch. of London & Norman Luboff Choir (Tr. 1-11), rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, London, JUL 1961 |RCA Victor Symphony Orch. (Tr. 12-19)--rec. Manhattan Center, NYC, 17 APR 1961.

 
First of all, some explanatory housekeeping details, re: Tr. 7. A Doxology is any standard word or phrase which ends a sung prayer. It can be a simple "Amen," or something like, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (or Ghost)," or any other standard, routine phrase. As for "Old 100th," per Wikipedia,
 

"Old 100th" or "Old Hundredth" (also commonly called "Old Hundred") is a hymn tune in Long Metre from Pseaumes Octante Trois de David (1551) (the second edition of the Genevan Psalter) and is one of the best known melodies in all Christian musical traditions. The tune is usually attributed to the French composer Louis/Loys Bourgeois (c. 1510 – c.1560).


Although the tune was first associated with Psalm 134 in the Genevan Psalter, the melody receives its current name from an association with the 100th Psalm, in a translation by William Kethe entitled All People that on Earth do Dwell. The melody is commonly sung with diverse other lyrics as well."

 
Of course, all this stuff can get a tad arcane. Remind me when you are in the mood some day to explain to you the difference among 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class relics in Catholic practice and ritual.
 
One more little thing: Norman Luboff did the vocal arrangements for the indicated pieces; in those pieces, the orchestral arrangements were done by Walter Stott.
 
I do wish they had put the Tannhauser excerpt on one of the two all Wagner discs on CDs 4 & 5.

These are all strong, committed performances, but its a hodgepodge. I'm not really sure why they decided to do this at all.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:05 am


On Tuesday, 20 FEB 2018, I listened to 3 CDs.
 
 
1) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): |Tr. 1-4, Symphony 93 in D Major (24'12) |Tr. 5-8, Symphony 94 in G Major "Surprise" (23'43) |Tr. 9-12, Symphony 95 in C Minor (21'16)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch. Rec. 1988-9 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. CD 29 of a 33 CD Brilliant Records set of all the Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.
 
Now, we begin the last set of Haydn Symphonies, the London set of 12. This is the first three symphonies of that set. These are a bit more vigorous than some previous volumes. The surprise in the Surprise symphony will make you jump in your seat because its even louder than usual, and the off tune bassoon joke in #93 is a tad louder and funnier than it usually is.
 
 
2) CD 14 in the 23 CD + 1 DVD set of pianist Clifford Curzon's complete recordings for DECCA. |Tr. 1-4, Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904): Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81 (1887) (35'36) |Tr. 5-7, Cesar Franck (1822-90) : Piano Quintet in F Minor (1879) (33'51)--with Wiener Philharmonisches Streichquartett (Willi Boskovksy, Otto Strasser, violins, Rudolf Atreng, viola, Robert Scheiwein, cello [Dvorak], Emanuel Brabec, cello [Franck])--rec. Sofiensaal, Vienna, 29 OCT 1962 (Dvorak), 16 OCT 1960 (Franck).
 
Both of these piano quintets are considered to be among the masterworks in the genre along with those of Schumann, Brahms, and Shostakovich.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Qui ... 99%C3%A1k)

In my opinion, this is one of the four recordings of this work I can most enthusiastically recommend. The others are those by the Julliard Quartet with Rudolf Firkusny, the Talich Quartet with Kazuko Mimura, and the Panocha Quartet with Jan Panenka.
As for the Franck, AllMusic says :

"The Piano Quintet, one of the earliest masterpieces of Franck, marked his return to chamber music after more than 35 years. The work was dedicated to Saint-Saëns who, although he played the piano part in the premiere, so strongly disapproved of the musical language of the composer that he rejected the dedication.

The first movement opens with a dramatic introduction, Molto moderato quasi lento, by the bowed strings. The piano replies in a gentle manner. The strings restate their opening. The piano turns even more gentle. The dialogue continues along similar lines until the piano suddenly launches into the Allegro. The second subject is characterized by a wistful inflection to minor. The development reaches a stormy climax. A passage mirrors the introduction. The reprise is very intense, but it concludes fading away. The second movement, Lento, con molto sentimento, is also in sonata form. It opens with a motive with a falling figure on the first violin, with a background of repeated chords of the piano. The atmosphere gradually turns more tragic. Then, a gentle melody in the lower strings is accompanied by piano in the high register. In the central section, the piano brings back the second subject of the opening Allegro. The reprise is again highly dramatic. The finale, Allegro non troppo ma con fuoco, is characterized by a relentless rhythmic drive. It opens with a repeated soft motive in the strings from which the first subject emerges. The second subject begins with a piano theme accompanied by the strings. The agitation continues throughout. Near the ending, the second subject of the Allegro reappears. But the rhythmic urgency resumes and brings the work to an intense conclusion."
This is one of the 5 performances of the Franck which is on the ArchivMusic list of recommended recordings of the work.
 
 
3) Robert Schumann (1810-56): |Tr. 1-4, Piano Trio 2 in F Major, Op. 80 (27'16) |Tr. 5-8, Piano Trio 3 in G Minor, Op. 110 (27'16) |Tr. 9-12, Phantasiestuecke, Op. 88 (18'37)--Israel Piano Trio (Alexander Volkov, piano, Menahem Breuer, violin, Marcel Bergman, cello)--rec. 9/1988 Rosslyn Chapel, Hampstead, London. CD 3 in a 7 CD Brilliant Classics set of the complete Schumann chamber music. Licensed from CRD, UK.
 
This set is good, but it cannot compare to the Beaux Arts Trio versions of these works, which is the standard.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:03 am


On Wednesday, 21 FEB 2018, I listened to 3 CDs.
 
 
1) Franz Schubert (1797-1828): |Tr. 1-4, Symphony 4 in C Minor, D. 417 "Tragic" (1816) (30'55) |Tr. 5-8, Symphony 2 in A Flat Major, D. 125 (1815) (32'43)--Jos Van Immerseel, cond., Anima Eterna Brugge. Rec. Tilburg Concertzaal 1-2 DEC 1996 (4th), 29-30 JAN 1997 (2nd). CD 2 of a 4 CD Outhere set of the complete Schubert symphonies by these forces.
 
These are excellent performances, but not as good, it seems to me, as the Beecham or Marriner recordings of these works. This set does have superb documentation, and a thick booklet explaining Immerseel's approach to these works.
 
 

2) Maurice Duruflé (1902-86): |Tr. 1, Prelude on the Introit of the Epiphany, Op. 13 (1961) (2'38) |Tr. 2-3, Prelude et fugue sur le nom d'Alain, Op. 7 (1942) (11'32) |Tr. 4-6, Suite for Organ, Op. 5 (1933) (23'38) |Tr. 7, Scherzo for Organ, Op. 2 (1926) (5'49) |Tr. 8-10, Prelude, Adagio and Chorale Variations on "Veni Creator", Op. 4 (1930) (23'57) |Tr. 11, Fugue on the Carillon of the Cathedral of Soissons, Op. 12 (c. 1947) (3'11)--John Scott, organist, Organ of St. Paul's Cathedral, London and the Gentlemen of the St. Paul Cathedral Choir in Tr. 10--rec. 10-12 APR 1989 & 28 JUN 1989. A hyperion CD.

 
The documentation in the booklet, while more than adequate, is only 8 pages long, generous for most companies, but a little skimpy for hyperion, and 2 of those pages describe only the registrations of the organ, and one consists of a b & w photo of the organist. Excellent performances.
 
 
3) N Miaskovsky (1881-1950): |Tr. 1-2, Symphony 2 in C Minor, Op. 11 (1911) (46'45) |Tr. 3, Symphony 13 in B Minor, Op. 36 (1933) (20'26) |Tr. 4, Slavonic Rhapsody in D Minor, Op. 71 (1946) (11'32)--Evgeny Svetlanov, cond., Russian Federation Symphony Orch., CD 12 of a 16 CD set of all the Miaskovsky symphonies + some selected other orchestral works by these forces Rec. 1991-3 in the Large Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow. Issued by Warner Records.
 

Notes on these works from an online essay by Eric Schissel @ https://kith.org/jimmosk/schissel.html

sym. 2 in c# minor, op. 11. a sequential opening tune of memorable rhythm opens a sonata-form well-described as Tschaikovskian by Ikonnikov, beginning and ending in c# minor. The a minor second movement opens uncertainly with a c-c# semitone before its main matter, described by the same writer as Scriabin-influenced. The central section of this slow movement contains a quite fast page. The last pages of the slow movement are sparely orchestrated in the extreme. They turn to A major, and in what is perhaps a sort of bow to Scriabin's 3rd piano sonata, a transposition of the main theme of the 3rd movement picks up speed and introduces the 3rd movement- which Ikonnikov describes as Miaskovskian. The main theme is extremely angular. The ending leaps off the page- a chord with c# minor submerged in several leading tones and tritones played loudly and tremolo for several bars, then an .emphatic. low c#.
 
sym. 13. It has been described as being nearly as bleak as Sibelius' 4th symphony. It has little in common with symphony no. 12 (I do not know symphony no. 14 but from what I know about it, symphony no. 13 also has little in common with it). It is in a single movement, with slow introduction (and prominent drum tattoo), main theme, D-flat major second theme, development leading to a b-natural-minor fugato, and recapitulation and coda, finally ending on a b-flat minor chord with added notes a and c, the drum tattoo accompanying the final chord.
 

As for the Rhapsody, I found this review in Fanfare review by Peter J Rabinowitz, quoted in ArchivMusic.com: "Svetlanov can’t convince me that the late Slavonic Rhapsody —despite its impressively brooding opening and its powerful conclusions—is anything but stylistically disjointed. While it’s more sober than the title might lead you to expect, Myaskovsky was rarely at his best using folksy material, and the half-hearted and repetitious bell-drenched climax about two-thirds of the way in suggests that he was having trouble maintaining his interest in the project."
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by david johnson » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:43 am

I am now happily on cd 4 of the Naxos White Box of Prokofiev Symphonies and Concertos/Kuchar - NSO Ukraine and Wit/PNR Symphony. The recorded sound and orchestral playing is very satisfying.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:28 am


On Thursday, 22 FEB 2018, and into the wee hours of 23 FEB, I listened to 7 CDs.
 
 
1) Franz Schubert (1797-1828): |Tr. 1-14, Schwanengesang, D. 957 (54'04) |Tr. 15, Auf dem Strom, Op. posth. 119, D. 943 (9'51) |Tr. 16, Die Sterne, Op. 96/1 D.939 (3'20)--Mark Padmore, tenor, Paul Lewis, piano, Richard Watkins, French horn (in Tr. 15) Texts to songs by Ludwig Rellstab (1-7, 15), Heinrich Heine (8-13), Johann Gabriel Seidl (14).--Rec. OCT 2010 @ Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London. hyperion CD.
 
I liked these performances. Two of the three reviews @ Amazon.com gave it five stars, and one gave it 4. It is this reviewer for whom I have the most respect. "Santa Fe Listener" is an Amazon Hall of Fame reviewer, and presents the longest review, which reveals a depth of knowledge about Schubert and lieder singing in general which I can only envy. And, Sante Fe reviewer says this is the best of Padmore's Schubert recordings, and along the way, Ian Bostridge suffers in the comparison. I recommend this performance.
 
 
2) Tr. 1-7, Joseph Canteloube (1879-1957): Chants d'Auvergne (selections) (22'40) |Tr. 8-9, Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959): Bachianas Brasileiras 5 (11'36) |Tr. 10, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943): Vocalise, Op. 34 # 14 (arr. Arcady Dubensky) (7'06)--Anna Moffo, soprano, Leopold Stokowski, cond., American Symphony Orch. Rec. Manhattan Center, NYC, 10-11 APR 1964 (Tr. 1-7), 13 APR 1964 (Tr. 8-9), 14 APR 1964 (Tr. 10). CD 7 of a 14 CD RCA survey entitled "Leopold Stokowski, The Stereo Collection: 1954-75."
 
Beautiful singing from Moffo. A fine recording of selections of some important works, but nothing complete here, which I feel decreases the importance of the record.
 
 
3) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): |Tr. 1-4, Symphony 96 in D Major "The Miracle" (1791) (23'22) |Tr. 5-8, Symphony 97 in C Major (1792) (25'59) |Tr. 9-12, Symphony 98 in B Flat Major (1792) (29'40)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch., rec. 1988-9 in Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. This is CD 30 of a 33 CD Brilliant Records set of all the Haydn Symphonies from these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.
 
These are excellent recordings, but then, so are any number of other sets of the London Symphonies, especially, as I have said before, those conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken.
 
 
4) CD 15 of the 23 CD + 1 DVD set of all of pianist Clifford Curzon's recordings for DECCA. W.A. Mozart (1756-91) |Tr. 1-3, Piano Concerto 23 in A Major, K. 488 (1786) (26'35) |Tr. 4-6, Piano Concerto 24 in C Minor, K. 491 (1786) (29'42)--Istvan Kertesz, cond., London Symphony Orch. Rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 6, 7, 9, 11 OCT (23) & 1, 2, 4 DEC 1967 (24).
 
I own four complete sets of the Mozart piano concerti. One of them is still among my "to-be-listened to" records, that of Geza Anda. The ones I have listened to are the Immerseel OIP set, another original instruments set by Malcolm Bilson, and a modern istruments set by Matthias Kirshcnereit, and the Bamberg Symphony with Frank Beerman conducting. In many ways, the Kirschnereit is the most fun to listen to, but my real loves in Mozart piano concerti are from pianists who did not record all of them, especially those, with various pianists, conducted by George Szell. Those with Casadesus, which include both of the works on this disc, are well known, but he did others with Rudolf Serkin, and even the Concerto # 9 with Rudolf Firkusny and the Concertgebouw Orchestra. coupled with a Jupiter symphony. And then, outside of the works under consideration here, I own a wonderful set of the Concerti 14-18 by Peter Serkin with Alexander Schneider conducting the English Chamber Orchestra.
 
Curzon has all these wonderful recordings just in my own collection as competition, and I must say he holds his own very well indeed with the able assistance of Istvan Kertesz, of course. In fact, it is rumored that after George Szell died on 30 JUL 1970, the Cleveland Orchestra members wanted Kertesz to be their new music director, but it was not to be, and the issue was closed a few years later when, on 16 APR 1973, Kertesz himself died in a tragic swimming accident in Israel. Apparently, he had a heart attack while swimming in the Mediterranean, and his body washed ashore a few days later.
 
 
5) Robert Schumann (1810-56): |Tr. 1-4, Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op. 44 (28'58) |Tr. 5-8, Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 47 (25'57)--Thomas Rajna, piano, Alberni Quartet (Howard Davis, violin I, Peter Pople, violin II [in Op. 44], Berian Evans, viola, Gregory Baron, cello)--Rec. 1976 Rossllyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, London. CD 4 of a 7 CD Brilliant set of Schumann's complete chamber music. Lic. from CRD, UK.
 
I am starting to see what the critics mean when they pan this set. That's because I listen to these works a little more often than I do the rest of Schumann's chamber music, and I can feel the difference. All the notes are here, but I hear no passion, no commitment, no sense of Schumann's genius in the playing.
 
 
6) Franz Schubert (1797-1828): |Tr. 1-4, Symphony 3 in D Major, D. 200 (1815) (23'23) |Tr. 5-8, Symphony 5 in B Flat Major, D. 485 (1816) (26'20) |Tr. 9-12, Symphony 1 in D Major, D. 82 (1813) (27'05)--Jos Van Immerseel, cond., Anima Eterna Brugge--Rec. Tilburg Concertzaal, 3 DEC 1996 (3), 4 DEC 1996 (5), 22-23 JAN 1997 (1). CD 3 of a 4 CD Outhere set of the complete Schubert symphonies by these forces.
 
Anima Eterna Brugge is a period instruments ensemble, and Jos Van Immerseel, the conductor, is a meticulous scholar as well as a very fine conductor. These are among the greatest performances of each of these works. Others to consider are Marriner, esp. for completeness, Thomas Beecham, a great conductor who did not record a complete Schubert set, but recorded the works on the present disc, and, somewhat surprisingly, the Harnoncourt set. I first listened to the Harnoncourt set almost immediately after listening to the Muti, Philadelphia set. Muti's set emphasized the role of the strings in these works, and I thought that since Harnoncourt started out as a cellist, his set would be much the same, though, of course, it would be more attentive to period practice. I was surprised to find that Harnoncourt emphasized winds and brass much more than Muti did, and it is a set which certainly deserves your attention, as does this one.
 
 
7) Alexander Borodin (1833-87): Complete Piano Music (79'12), Marco Rapetti, piano. Rec. 3-5 SEP 2008 Villa Vespucci, San Felice a Ema, Florence, performed on a Yamaha CF 3 SA Concert Grand. A Brilliant Classics CD. |Tr. 1-7, Petite Suite (1885) (23'43) |Tr. 8, Scherzo in A Flat (1885) (3'21) |Tr. 9, Danse le steppes de l'Asie central (Dance from the steppes of central Asia) for piano four hands (1880) (7'39) |Tr. 10-25, Paraphrases (1878-9) (25'15) |Tr. 26, Tarantella in D for piano 4 hands (1862) (4'28) |Tr. 27, Allegretto in D Flat for piano four hands (1861) (1'43) |Tr. 28, Scherzo in E Major for piano 4 hands (1861) (5'00) |Tr. 29, Adagio patetico in A Flat (1849) (4'07) |Tr. 30, Polka Helene in D Minor for piano for hands (1843) (2'14) |Tr. 31, Maurice Ravel (1975-1937): A la maniere de Borodine (1913) (1'47). Tracks 27-30 are world premiere recordings. Second pianist is Daniels de Santis in Trs. 11-21, 23-25, 27-28, Giampaolo Nuti in Tr 26, and both (3 pianists) in Tr. 22.
 
These are wonderful performance of works one seldom encounters. In fact, as you can see in th headnote, a few of the early pieces are world premiere recordings. One reviewer at Amazon, the most knowledgeable one, identified only as G.D., has this to say, in part:
 

"Before approaching the 15 Paraphrases, the longest item on the disc at 25 minutes, one better have some idea about what one is about to encounter. First of all, it is not Borodin's own composition but a collaborative composed by the Belyayev circle, apparently for fun, to which Borodin contributed four movements - the others were contributed by Rimsky-Korsakov (6), Liadov (4), and Cui. The rule they had to follow was pretty strict, however. The Paraphrases are for piano four hands, and the upper part is a sequence of 16 quavers that are played continuously throughout the 25 minutes without any variation whatsoever (no liberties with the rhythm, no modulations). And sure, that is an idea that does, indeed, allow the composers involved to apply some ingenuity, but it also means that the listener will have to listen to the same figure repeated without break for 25 minutes, so be warned: this one may truly test your patience. Most of the contributions are also relatively slight - which is what you would expect given the restrictions - and the contributors surely saw the challenge as a game rather than an opportunity to apply their artistic talents. The entries are listenable, however, and some even enjoyable, though I wouldn't recommend anyone to take more than three of the paraphrases in one sitting. As it happens, neither of the two movements that stand out as having particular artistic merit were written by Borodin; Rimsky's short Fughetta on B-A-C-H is not particularly artistically valuable, I guess, but you can't help appreciating the idea when it arrives. By far the best section is Rimsky's magnificent(!) Carillon, which suddenly takes the whole idea to a completely different level with a genuinely striking piece. I suppose the performances are as good as they could be given the material, and they do indeed capture the sonoric spectacle of the Carillon (for six hands)."
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:01 am

Beecham recorded all the standard Schubert symphonies except No. 4 and, surprisingly, No. 9. There's a 1955 live concert recording of the latter which is well spoken of but I haven't heard it. His earlier recording of No. 5 with the London Philharmonic is a marvel; the stereo remake with the Royal Phil is also fine but a bit heavier. He's apparently impatient with the closing bars of the 3rd symphony's first movement, as he trims some of them as redundant - maybe they are, but so is some of the coda of Beethoven's 5th. :mrgreen:
John Francis

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:17 am

​On Saturday, 28 FEB 2018, I listened to 7 CDs.

1-2) Sigmund Romberg (1887-1951): Blossom Time, an operetta in 3 Acts from themes of Franz Schubert (1921) Book and lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly (1880-1928). TT: 104'25. CD 1, Act 1 (46'16), CD 2 , Acts 2 & 3 (58'09)--Steven Byess, cond., Ohio Light Opera, Justin Berkowitz, tenor (Franz Schubert), Amy Maples, soprano (Mitzi Kranz), Luke Bahr, tenor (Baron Franz Schobel), Ted Christopher (Count Scharntoff), Boyd Mackus (Herr Kranz, Mitzi's father), Carolin Miller, soprano (La Bellabruna). Rec. 2012. A 2 CD Albany Records set.


The Ohio Light Opera is a musical organization based in the Cleveland area. The orchestra consists of a harpist, a double bassist, 7 violinists, and violas, cellos, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, trombones, and percussionists in pairs--a total of 29 instrumentalists.


A note in the accompanying booklet, which includes a complete text, says that the musical score of the production was recorded in full, but that the recording has a truncated (their word) version of the spoken dialogue. Nevertheless, it is easy to follow the plot. This is a lovely, charming work, superbly played and recorded. I highly recommend it.


3) N Miaskovsky (1881-1950): Tr. 1-4, Symphony 6 in E Flat Minor, Op. 23 (1923) (64'20) |Tr. 5, Pathetic Overture in C Minor, Op. 76 (1947) (13'40)--Evgeny Svetlanov, cond., Russian Federation Symphony Orch. CD 13 of a 16 CD set of all the Miaskovsky symphonies + some selected other orchestral works by these forces Rec. 1991-3 in the Large Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow. Issued by Warner Records.


Symphony 6 is, per Wikipedia, "...the largest and most ambitious of his 27 symphonies, planned on a Mahlerian scale, and uses a chorus in the finale. It has been described as 'probably the most significant Russian symphony between Tchaikovsky's Pathétique and the Fourth Symphony of Shostakovich'. (Myaskovsky in fact wrote part of the work in Klin, where Tchaikovsky wrote the Pathétique.) The premiere took place at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow on 4 May 1924, conducted by Nikolai Golovanov and was a notable success."


For further commentary on the Soviet critical response to the work, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_ ... yaskovsky)


Later in his life, Miaskovsky authorized a version of the final movement of the Symphony 6 which omits the chorus. It is this version which is presented on the present recording by Svetlanov. He is the only conductor who has chosen to perform thiis version.


The Pathetic Overture does sound a little pathetic, like a psychological study of a depressed person up to about the 7 minute mark. Then it starts to pick up and become much more cheerful and lively.


4) CD 8 in the 14 CD RCA set entitled "Leopold Stokowski: The Stereo Collection 1954-75." |Tr. 1-4, Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904): Symphony 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 "From the New World" (43'19)--New Philharmonia Orch., rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, London, 2-4 JUL 1973 |Bedrich Smetana (1824-84): |Tr. 5, The Moldau (Vtlava) from Ma Vlast (12'21) |Tr. 6, The Bartered Bride: Overture (7'05)--RCA Victor Symphony Orch., rec. Manhattan Center, NYC, 18 FEB 1960.


I have heard much better New World's than this. Stokowski's first movement is a competent run through; the second movement seems to have no passion in it at all. Things definitely start to pick up in the third movement, and the last movement is a real rouser. My favorite New World, as I have said before in other reviews is the Zdenek Macal version with the London Philharmonic https://www.amazon.com/Dvorak-Symphony- ... enek+Macal But other versions, too, are better than this, among them Reiner and Giulini, both with the Chicago Symphony, and Karel Ancerl with the Czech Philharmonic.


BTW, those of us who are old enough remember reading about Dvorak's 1893 summer sojourn in the small town of Spillville, Iowa, a Czech immigrant community on the Mississippi River which commentators from th 50's and 60's assured us no longer existed. This is erroneous on several counts. Per Wikipedia, "Spillville is a city in Winneshiek County, Iowa, United States. The population was 367 at the 2010 census. It is located in Calmar Township, about 4 mi (6.4 km) west of Calmar and about 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Decorah, the county seat." Winneshieck County is hard up on the Minnesota border, but it is one county west of the Mississippi River. Its chief attraction today is St. Wenceslaus Church, founded in 1860, which has the distinction of being the oldest Czech Catholic Church in the US. I just wanted to correct the record.


Stokowski seems more committed to the Smetana pieces than to Dvorak. These are real rousers, expecially the Bartered Bride Overture.


5) F.J. Haydn (1732-1809): |Tr. 1-4, Symphony 99 in E Flat Major (1793) (27'32) |Tr. 5-8, Symphony 100 in G Major "Military" (1794) (24'19)--Adam Fischer, cond., Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orch., rec.1988-9 Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria. This is CD 31 of a 33 CD Brilliant Classics set of all the Haydn symphonies by these forces. Licensed from Nimbus Records.


As I have said before, the Military Symphony is my number one favorite Haydn symphony, and so I listened to it especially carefully. These are both wonderful performances.


6) CD 16 of a 23 CD + 1 DVD set of all of pianist Clifford Curzon's recordings for DECCA. W.A. Mozart (1756-91): |Tr. 1-3, Piano Concerto 26 in D Major, K. 537 "Coronation" (1788) (31'08) |Tr. 4-6, Piano Concerto 27 in B Flat Major, K. 595 (30'30)--Istavan Kertesz, cond., London Symphony Orch., rec. Kingsway Hall, London 6, 7, 9, 11 OCT (26), & 1, 2, 4 DEC 1967 (27).


These are wonderfully stylish performances of these two masterpieces. These are among the very best available recordings of these works. Curzon/Kertesz have a few equals, but no superiors in this repertoire.


Go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Con ... 6_(Mozart) for an explanation of why # 26 has the applellatioon "Coronation" attached to it.


7) CD 5 in the 7 CD Brilliant Classics set of the complete Robert Schumann (1810-56) chamber music. Tr. 1-4, Maerchenerzaehlungen, for piano, clarinet, & viola, Op. 132 (16'07) |Tr. 5, Fantasiestueke for clarinet & piano, Op. 73 (10'55) |Tr. 6-9, Maerchenbilder for viola & piano, Op. 113 (14'45) |Tr. 10, Adagio & Allegro for viola & piano, Op. 70 (7'45)--Nash Ensemble (Ian Brown, piano, Antony Pay, clarinet, Roger Chase, viola) (Tr. 1-5), Jolanta Bartosiak, viola, Beata Cywinska, piano (Tr. 6-10). Rec. 1984 Rosslyn Chapel, Hampstead, London. Licensed from CRD.


On this CD, we get some relief from the general feeling that this set is not up to par. The Nash Ensemble, which is recorded in the first 5 tracks, is one of the finest chamber music groups in the world. Most of their recordings are highly rated, and these performances by them are no exception.


The last two works, performed by Bartosiak and Cywinska meets the same high standard of performance, but the presentation is marred by a too-close miking of the viola.
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